Monday, March 25, 2013

Shame II

Scott Bradley


The theoretical Daoist sage is shameless. She has no moral compass. The compass is used to navigate, but she allows the winds and current to take her where they will, and trusts that that place, like every place, is a place of peace and freedom.

We who fear such freedom, we who fear to trust the immediacy of our own heart, who fear what the world is or might become, who fear chaos, who fear what others may think, and who require restraints to direct our path, we can only fear shamelessness.

Shamelessness does not mean the absence of anything for which to be ashamed. It means that no such discrimination was ever made. It does not mean perfection within a moral code, but the perfection that requires no moral code. It is the perfection of things as they are, because they are. It is the perfection of the broken tree, the pouncing cat, the squealing mouse, the rising and the passing of every visible thing. It is an understanding of the Dao that cannot be improved upon, the Dao that is all things. But then, Dao is imperfect, for things are imperfect. Dao is perfect in its imperfections; but then what does perfection have to do with it?

Fritz Perls warns us against taking self-image actualizing for self-actualizing; the one is a journey of acceptance into who we are; the other is a battle to become someone else, someone more 'acceptable' in the context of an exterior discrimination interiorized. The one basks in the liberating light of awareness; the other wages coercive war on the field of shame.

There is this pitfall in every so-called 'spiritual' practice, the offer of a different, better, happier you. How do we understand this possibility without it driving a wedge between ourselves as we are and how we wish to be? How do we avoid striving for an ideal as a negation of the real? It begins in understanding that there is nothing we need become; for we already are precisely who we are, and everything is perfect in being what it is.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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