This way or that…nowhere else to go. Coming out of our little Utopias into the Real world
Yesterday at BasicIndia, I was challenged on my views that I expressed on my blog (http://goldenboy.blog.com) a week ago.
Uma had written on Community Building in a previous post at the BasicIndia blog – “This is one of the main problems in communication and consequently in our lives together: the fact that we have set views on everything, mostly about ourselves and we hate these views to be challenged in any way. We are simply not free to see ourselves as we are, nor to accept the way we are seen by others.” I personally felt that the Group reacted in the same way as she talks about on an individual level.
The very fact that somebody could challenge so basic an issue like the very purpose with which they come together, and how truly dedicated or willing each person is to the idea of a BasicIndia community-building (that of “What is the true meaning of community spirit? How to live in peace with each other? A space for looking at questions concerning our lives”… and letting each person have his say about what he felt without challenging or fighting it outright as soon as he had said it,) was too much for the group to stomach somehow.
Theories were crafted, everybody (including me, sucked into the game) went into the defence-mode, an old person went on a personal “navel-gazing” trip into his own theory of how to live with one’s own fantastic and romantic idea of spiritual tour without having to be affected by other person’s genuine feedback or opinion. They all wanted sugar-coated capsules, and truth in anyother form as I saw it (and have the right to see it, to be myself) was heresy.
That is what happens in a group, any group that comes together with however a well-meaning purpose. Some cannot take feedback about the group (my feedback was about the group in general and not individual). Somehow we become so loyal to the Group that we become slaves of the Group and any word of criticism raised against the group is fought against, tooth and nail. Group Members standing as one, want to run away from even giving the feedback its rightful share of ‘listening or looking at’, thinking it would be a painful exercise in “self-flagellation” as a person rightfully and unknowingly pointed out in yesterday’s session.
I don’t disagree that each would have his own “selfish” agenda of furthering one’s understanding and heightening one’s sense of living or whatever it is that we crave out of such meetings. But we cannot forget that ultimately what we seek to form in BasicIndia is not our own individual self-gratifying little worlds of make-believe spiritual trips. Or else, the people who seek to get something out of such groups as in “sharing” would miss you in their bus of community-formation, while you are busy in your own little world of “what I need I take from the group and nobody please challenge me with that”.
Yes Navendu, my happiness does ultimately depend on how the group behaves ultimately. For it is high time that we understand that we cannot no longer live in our own little spiritual make-believe feel-good worlds of fantasy. We need to understand that these are mere bubbles, that will ultimately break with all the anger and frustration and the reality of the modern world today (as your individual fantasy spiritual worlds were shattered yesterday by a “terrorist” who challenged the world-order of your little worlds you go into in the session). In real life, we have terrorists exploding bombs in our midst to shake us out of our little Utopias that only exist in our little minds.
Unless we graduate from the self-gratifying navel-gazing exercise of escaping into our individual two-minutes fantasy worlds of “taking what I get” and getting out of there land into the reality of the real world around us to go into the “sharing mode”, unless we understand that we need to go to the bigger picture of allowing even a terrorist to speak out to be listened to without us jumping to judge him or reacting in a way that he withdraws; unless we listen to those who are marginalized in the group or the society (who don’t believe in the ‘opium’ of make-believe spiritual quests that stays in one’s mind as a figment of our own individual imaginations), unless we are ready to listen to the real-world terrorists and small-time terrorists like me who want to hijack you out of your utopias… into the world of “real sharing”… unless you are ready to be hijacked, you will never discover what a beautiful Community can be really built in the physical realm in which we live.
Anyways. I am sure, people reading this are already ready to defend themselves or perhaps have already discarded my views into the trash bin thinking of me as a loony case who really needs some psychiatric attention or whatever. Some, I am sure are utterly confused, and so would discard my views anyways.
But my Cause of a honest Dialogue, where each one can bring his own feelings into the group without the fear of being judged or the fear of being put on a trial (like the one in which I was put yesterday), until each one can be sure that there are people in the Community who are ready to truly Listen without reacting or over-reacting, until that Space is truly created… groups like BasicIndia would be a futile journey into the very “navel-gazing” and “escapism from the real world for a fantastic two hours of sainthood”… that it so despises in principle.
Adios little people. Happy flight. I am busy with people of the real world. I have my own pain and now I have the pain of my students who come to me to truly listen to them without being judged – like students who are pro-Gujarat riots or Nazi supporters or anti-women or whatever the elite and the self-grandiose world like yours have made them.
No boasting this, but what the world needs today is you in the Physical Realm addressing real issues, not your own individual “felt in and one with the group and sometimes totally disconnected” approaches. We need to be more serious than that. Instead of running after “release from my own pain”- feelings and experiences, we need to think if we can share in the pain that is real in the world today? Instead of wallowing in my own self-created “garbage” of pain and without trying to turn BasicIndia sessions into an exercise in group Psychotherapy (stop it. You all are not even close to being qualified, you end up damaging more than helping), let’s turn it into a Space where “pain and frustration” of the real world are also admitted, not so much to be judged and psychoanalyzed by each, or to be put on trial, but to be understood; to allow them to just share and be held, to let the “pain” be held by each so to be shared, for the the words and content to weigh less than the Pain that one may carry beneath the surface.
Till that honest attempt is made at a basic level in well-meaning groups like BasicIndia, terrorists world-wide would strike and not even shed a tear for the lives lost. No wonder then, that the first thing you people like to do is to bomb the terrorists just to have them out of your sights, only to breed more of them.
I choose to disassociate myself from future sessions of BasicIndia. Uma in her post on Community Building says “Often the person, unable to stomach reality – which happens to be the fact that another person sees him other than he sees himself – becomes either aggressive or withdraws from the group in disappointment, anger or fear.” But Uma, what if the Group fails, just like all the structures in the outer society tries to mull or pour water on the individual’s spirit/inner-fire. What if there was a true spark that if listened to without so much of reacting to it, could have led into the majority of the group turning to a fruitful endevour in honest sharing. Or is it just another endevour at BasicIndia to headcount and judge “right wrong, or true false” on the basis of majority opinion in the group? Why was I put on a trial at BasicIndia for expressing my views yesterday? Do I need to camouflage myself everytime I sit in one of such groups, in order to be accepted? If so, how different is BasicIndia from other structures of Society?
Thanks and Regards