Pride, Greed, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth: Embrace Your Dark Side!

 


The concept of sin and virtue comes from religion. It comes from the need to run a society amicably and without chaos. It makes sense too, especially because human beings had, over a period of time since their evolution, moved away from the natural order, and with their ingenious brain made a life so luxurious and so appealing to the senses that slowly and steadily they moved away from the concept of moderation and began doing/ consuming/ using more than they needed, in every walk of life.

The few visionaries that existed would have seen the mayhem that lay ahead if this mindlessness continued and so rules were laid out in the name of God (and away from Pagan concept of worshipping the classic elements) and societies and religions made, as we know it today. Its importance has not diminished in any way but the original intention of those visionaries, slowly and steadily have been interpreted in ways to suit different agendas.

Humans are animals but dangerous animals for they have a superior brain but a brain that has forgotten how to be in sync with Nature. Animals eat, mate, have a social pecking order, mark territories, kill the young that they haven’t fathered in some cases but none of them need a lesson in the cardinal sins. Yet, the superior Homo Sapiens need lessons, over and over again despite which they digress from time to time. Have you ever wondered why?

There are always two ends to any spectrum- two extremes. Usually, optimal operation happens around the centre plus-minus degrees equally on either side. In some situations, extremes are useful and in others detrimental. Yet, we can salvage the situation if operating from either extreme is a one-off thing. What is unfavourable to the point of being disastrous, is when we start operating from either extreme a lot more than once in a while. Aristotle in “Nicomachean Ethics” talks about a desirable trait or a virtue being flanked by two extremes. He gives the example of courage being the virtue and while one extreme was being cowardly the other was being rash. As per Christianity, within the Catholic, Protestant and Lutheran denominations, the seven deadly sins corresponded to seven virtues: Lust- Chastity, Gluttony- Temperance, Greed- Charity, Sloth- Diligence, Wrath- Patience, Envy- Gratitude and finally, Pride-Humility.

Looking at the way the present-day world operates, I would make Sin and Virtue two extremes and put in seven operational modes as on date but before we do that, we need a strong dose of reality.

  •         We must know that each and every one of us has a dark side.
  •         There is no light without shade.
  •         We must acknowledge and then explore that dark side.
  •         It won’t be pleasant, but we must accept it, love ourselves knowing that we have a dark side and carry on exploring why it is there and how we can change it?
  •         Suppressing our dark side does not rid us of it.
  •         Addressing it, and going back to our deepest part of the psyche is necessary. If it is daunting due to traumatic experiences, in some cases, please take professional help. No shame in any of it.
  •         Love yourself during this painful and triggering journey, forgiving yourself and those people and situations due to which you have a dark side.
  •         Slowly begin to release the negativity, the pain, the rancour and every other negative emotion that bubbles up. It may take days, weeks, months and more but do it.
  •         It is difficult in the beginning but do it anyway. It is also a lifelong process. While you are carrying out this purging ritual, also on a daily basis take time just before sleeping at night, to go over your day, give thanks for all that went well and forgive yourself and all those who made things uncomfortable for you during the day.
  •          Once you have purged yourself of all the negativity, you will feel light and devoid of fear, anxiety and everything that stems from it.

As a cross between Aristotle’s idea and the Christian sin- virtue belief and in keeping up with the way life works today, I’ve tried to come up with a common ground between sin and virtue as I mentioned above. Anything from the centre or operating realm to the virtuous side would be a great place to operate from

Sin                    Operational Realm                Virtue

Lust                   Mutuality                               Chastity

Gluttony            Occasional Indulgence        Temperance

Greed                 Equality                                  Charity

Sloth                  Work-Life Balance                  Diligence

Wrath                Action                                     Patience

Envy                   Acceptance                             Gratitude

Pride                 Self- Confidence                      Humility

 

I read a beautiful article by Osho Rajneesh about the concept of sin. Most religions condone the act and they encourage you to feel remorse over the act so that you won’t repeat it again. These religions also do not believe in the concept of rebirth. Either by fear or by invoking guilt, they desire to make you worthy of the Heavens which happens to you just once when you die. The concept in Hinduism and Buddhism is different. They believe in the concept of death and rebirth, in cycles, which happen over and over again in different settings to teach you what you need to learn. The ultimate lesson is to break free from these cycles. Osho explains this concept of the Upanishads simply and beautifully as the four states of consciousness; waking state, dreaming state, state of deep sleep and the fourth state. Just imagine sitting in place A. That is your waking state. Now, you slip into a dream state and believe you are in place B. Nothing in your dream state is about to remind you that you are in place A. You don’t remember anything but place B. From here you move into deep sleep and you forget both places A and B. Nothing exists for you. This is how the first three states of consciousness are explained. The fourth state known as “Turiya” (the fourth), talks about attaining realization wherein all these states disappear. This is the reason why the world and worldly affairs are called “Maya or Mithya” (Illusory). What we see as a reality, what we call life is actually a deep sleep state. When we die, we actually awaken. However, it is possible to awaken even in deep sleep state of ours (that is what we call enlightenment) if we practice mindfulness. Being in the present moment at all times. To us, that are not realized, it is just a concept but we can get there if we practice mindfulness.

What you need to take home from this blog is to know that each and everyone of us has a dark side and so instead of judging one another, we ought to focus on our own darkness that lies deep within and allow light to enter and clear that fog and misery that stems up from it. Do not fear your darkness but liberate yourself from it.

Comments

  1. Deep and meaningful... balancing out the way we live is very important, and yes difficult too ! Dealing with my dark side... yes, I have to first acknowledge it...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful written, so well researched and wonderfully explained! Not a word that I can fault or would disagree with.. The issue indeed lies in the whole ‘holier than thou’ attitude that people like to project! Accept it that you have that darkness within you.. embrace the darkness.. understand the darkness.. Deal with how much of that darkness needs to be exhibited and eventually without darkness how could there ever be light? If only Homo sapiens could indeed embrace this. As for religion.. Don’t even want to get started! Like they say.. ‘You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t tell right from wrong, then you lack empathy not religion’.
    That said.. Loved the piece.. Will be reading it again.. there are certain points I definitely wish to read and understand better ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Toxicheaven! :) You said it! While we project our "holier than thou" attitude towards others, what's scary is when we start believing that for ourselves!! That quote is bang on! Thank you once again!

      Delete
  3. Extremely insightful. It is really important to embrace and accept oneself as a whole package, virtue and sins et al.
    You have once again proved my belief in you. .When it comes to being informative and retrospective, your blogs can never go wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Love for being you. I love and look forward to our discussions.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

25 Insights into the Aquarian Woman

Sexuality in India and Sunny Leone

#MeToo; How Does that Eradicate the Problem?