When I look at a very new baby I can tell that the beautiful sweetness emanating from her is a product not of this world but of the sweet world she just came from. We all recognize it, and our deep longing for that divine place engenders our love of babies, those emissaries from heaven.
The transition from such a realm to this karmic plane of chaos, unfairness and suffering must be experienced as nothing short of cataclysmic. The baby is ripped from her bed of infinite serenity, and dumped, helpless, onto what must feel like a battlefield. There’s something very wrong and she has no choice but to blame it all on herself. Hence shame.
Regardless of whether this melodramatic theory holds water, I know I have been grappling all my life with a sense of fundamental shame. For many years I didn’t recognize it for what it was: I just knew I was scared – scared to really be seen, and developed elaborate behaviors to keep that from happening. I was ashamed of myself.
More than thirty years ago while living in New Jersey I met my guru, the great Indian master Swami Muktananda. Since then I’ve made substantial inroads understanding and conquering this toxic feeling. The battle isn’t over, but I’m at least to the point where I no longer believe I’m shameful. The voice may subtly persist, but I don’t buy it.
I have been gifted with what I feel is a unique way of perceiving the world. I tend to see things differently than do other philosophers, and my way of expressing what I see is also unique, and is sometimes deemed to be raw and abrasive. So be it. I offer this blog without apology or explanation. I am no longer ashamed. I am Jersey Yogi.