Vivriti Blog

Beliefs about sex

AdaptLet us differentiate the inestimable benefits of accumulated knowledge from the tendency to hold fast to the past out of fear of the unknown. The beliefs we cling to, particularly about ourselves, are a denial of the growth of knowledge. When our habits have a stronger impact on us than facts, we are in danger of rejecting discovery in return for a mental story-line about the world and ourselves. For thousands of years, it was the belief that man cannot fly; however, innovation exposed this belief as false. No reason exists to think that a new understanding could not grant us many choices beyond our current beliefs about the world and ourselves.

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The Relevance of Kabir – By Todd Vickers

Freedom from invented fears

 

FearsWe need not alter our actions and the lives of others by deferring to imagined fears. Nothing obligates us to believe or obey any thought in our mind, even our most deeply ingrained habits. To grasp this fact develops in us a conscious sense of freedom. This includes freedom from how we know ourselves. As a result, we have more choices then we would otherwise have.

If a woman is afraid to approach a man and reveal her attraction for him, that doesn’t mean she is not capable of doing so. If she dares, regardless of the man’s response, the fear is not her master. She has access to her capacities instead of pretending they don’t exist while being trapped in a prison of imagined results. The question is not ‘what will this woman do next’, the question becomes ‘what can’t this woman do?’ Such a realization can be intensely creative because now the limit is her actual capacity, not her habitual fears or her beliefs about herself. 

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Evolving sexual beliefs

sexual beliefs“We  live  in  a  vastness  much  broader  than  our  imagined  limits and this includes our sexual beliefs.  When  we  let  go  of  our  ideas  of ‘self’,  we  are  not  bound  to  the  limits  of  such  an  arbitrary  ‘self’.  That  same  ‘self’  would  have  an entirely  different  set  of  beliefs  about intimate relationships if  we  grew  up  in  a  different  culture  with  a  different  religion  or system.  In  particular,  the  question  is  not  what  you  would  do  in  this  or  that  circumstance,  but  what will  you  choose  from  the  thousands  of  options  available.  This  access  to  a  greater  variety  of options  from  which  to  choose  cannot  guarantee  an  outcome  that  you  want,  but  makes  it  so  that you  are  not  limited  to  the  options  that  coincide  with  what  you  believe  about  yourself.  We  do  not need  to  defer  to  an  authority ,  an  institution  or  a  belief  to  go  beyond  the  limits  of  our  habits  and  try some  new sexual beliefs.  We  may  feel  fear,  but  fear  can  be  imagination  ebbing  and  flowing  in  the  silence. Is  it  fear  based  on  a  real  danger  or  fear  of  doing  something  outside  of  what  we  have  become accustomed?”

Excerpt: The Relevance of Kabir

“Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die.”
― B.R. Ambedkar

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Fear is not a master

When our dream is love, we feel passions like sexual desire. When our dreams become nightmares, the fear engulfs us. We may forget the same mind that dreams at night is active while awake in a different way. While awake, our consciousness includes the sensations of the world and the affective power of our mind to induce feelings just as in dreams. We can experience the same intensity of emotion anytime as we do while dreaming, but, when awake, we would be wise to discern between publicly observable facts, and the interpretations, distortions and falsehoods that can be found only in our minds. Such clarity is less common than we might think.

Excerpt: The Relevance of Kabir

Todd talks on spiritual experience

cover-1The pros and cons of spiritual experience with reference to the poet Kabir at Lamakaan in Hyderabad, India.

In the wood where lions
don’t tread
and birds don’t fly,
Kabir ranges
in empty meditation.

Why empty meditation? Why did Kabir reject rights and ceremonies.

A New Movie About Kabir

IMG_8775 copyFilm director V.V. Raju (left) and Dr. Chiranjeevi Kolluri (right) met author Todd Vickers at the recent India talks. They met again to discuss a new film about the life of Kabir.

Mr. Raju made a film about Kabir thirty years ago, but wants to create a remake in three languages Telugu, Urdu, and English. The new movie will more in tune with the poems of this daring 15th philosopher who criticized the religion, customs and the power structure of his time.  There will be a gathering of academics, philosophers, and historians to discuss the  content. The movie is now in pre-production planning.  IMG_8777 copy

What a lovely and exciting project!

Lamakaan discussion on spiritual experience

12644736_212424339103824_7409996788416130551_nSpiritual experience in the light of Kabir

The talk by author Todd Vickers involved some of Kabir’s most skeptical poems and his rejection of rites and ceremonies.

1Gorakh was yoga’s connoisseur.

They didn’t cremate

his body.

Still his meat rotted and mixed

with dust. For nothing

he polished his body. 

We discussed the mistake of creating an identity around race, caste, nation and spiritual ideology and the similarity between these things. We touched on mistaking thoughts as facts when thoughts only interpret and reflect facts. How identification of ourselves creates both human misery and imposes capricious limits on us. And how meditation dissolves these habits of mind and frees us from these limits.  We have video of the talk that will soon be on The Vivriti You Tube Channel.

UPLamPost 1 UPLamakaan front UPLamPost2 UPLamPost3

The Vivriti Foundation sponsored this talk and it was hosted by Lamakaan on the day of its anniversary.

A special thanks to Subba for making it happen.