The idiocy of feeling responsible
As you know, at the beginning of your spiritual journey you spend a lot of energy trying to get rid of a tangled web of interior traps. Speaking to yourself has never been simple and it takes a long time to learn how to be sincere again. At the beginning you’re disorientated by the quantity of things you learn about yourself and the world and by the many questions that before you wouldn’t even dreamt of asking and by the answers, which only now we have the courage to give you. And then, slowly, your awareness of what life really is finally grows powerful and, day by day, your doubts and hesitation disappear. You feel like a lion with a thick mane and an incredible roar. At least until the moment when you want to be free in the real world too; in your everyday choices, at home and in the office, where everything seems to get more difficult again.
Here we meet the second, very difficult network with all its traps and emotional blackmail. People have told you a million times, and you’ve repeated it to yourself even more often, “What has happened to you? Be careful because you could suffer and make others suffer. You are responsible for what is happening and you have an influence over others in the same way that they have influence you. Think well before you decide what you want to do.” And this is where many stumble fall and turn back. Over the centuries this was the point that saw the real mortality of spiritualists and those who practised Eish Shaok. Yet it would have been enough, and would take little to understand that that way of looking at existence was never farther from the truth. In this brief article I’ll explain how to free yourself from that confusion and -show you how to approach your responsibilities, your forced choices and your sense of guilt, past present and future, with affection.
Let’s start by making a distinction between responsibility for an event (for example, I left the car unlocked and it got stolen) and a sense of responsibility that we feel towards another person (another example; my wife is jealous because I was going to my lover’s house when my cat got stolen). I’m going to concentrate on the second example because it’s easier to discuss logically. Compared to the first I could also say that everything that happens is destined to happen (otherwise it wouldn’t happen would it?!) and that we are immersed in a fantastic network that connects absolutely everything (even the wife and the lover!) to be part of the Grand Design. However, only by going deep into your spiritual self can you fully accept this. Shakespeare’s Macbeth said, “If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me,” yet he did everything he could not to give in to his destiny. Abandoning yourself to the current isn’t easy but now we can begin to get rid of some of the ties. Let’s have a look together at why it’s stupid to think we have responsibility over others or the others over us.
Here are three small important examples to support your absolute freedom.
1 Does a parent have psychological responsibility for their children? The answer might be a clear and obvious ‘Yes’. Yet children don’t blindly follow their parents’ orders. You just need to think of the lives of great people who have challenged and overturned their beginnings to understand that it doesn’t work like that at all. If we really are a product of the education we receive then there would never have been any enlightened Masters. The parents of Siddhartha wanted him to be a warrior but in the end it was his Spirit that chose for him.
2 It could be argued that this is true only for those with a greater inner strength. Consider two siblings growing up in the same house; the same age, the same background and yet with two completely different perspectives on life. Nobody’s unconscious can be silenced by the teachings they receive, not even that of little children who have just come to earth. You can see the presence of an independent imprint really well in the instinctive behaviour of small children. But can’t you be influenced? Absolutely not. Let’s look at the third example.
3 This example concerns you personally. What happens when somebody tells you something? For example I’m going to make you think that the screen you have in front of you is really a banana. A little voice inside you analyses what I’ve said and judges whether it’s consistent with the belief system, desires and expectations you’ve created up to now. Then, if you decide it really is a banana, the small voice will make you think about it for several minutes, hours, days until, bit by bit, you will convince yourself that it’s true. And the same will happen to others when you’re the one talking about bananas. Nobody has a real power over the others but, to make up for it, we all have power over ourselves.
On the surface, and deep inside, as adults and as children, we have an inner nature to be reckoned with. It’s like a voice that pushes us beyond barriers and boundaries to accomplish what we came here to do. And it’s thanks to this voice that we can say that we can’t influence or be influenced. We don’t have the responsibility of how others feel and what they think. If you open your eyes, it’s obvious. Try changing perspective.
I’m going to say it one more time: you don’t have any real responsibility over others. You have no responsibility over others. Let it become your liberating mantra.
So, say goodbye to the feelings of guilt that keep those who still believe in the fairy tale of right and wrong awake at night. Bid farewell to the recriminations over those who made you feel bad. And say so long to the forced choices, because there are no longer choices which are conditioned by circumstances and, if the truth be known, there never have been. You are convinced you need to move in a particular direction even if you don’t want to … but it’s all a game that you’ve always played alone. Only choices exist.
You have one single duty and also a right: to express, and not repress, life.
So how did we end up believing in external responsibilities? Everything that led us to believe in our responsibility towards the world and the world’s responsibility towards us is linked to the big problem of control. Believing in the idea that each of us has an internal nature which is free from fear and cannot be controlled by social logic is something that has always frightened us. If everyone did exactly what they wanted there would be anarchy. Yet eliminating this sense of responsibility, and the sense of guilt that comes with it, doesn’t actually cause any harm, in fact it’s quite the opposite. You can get to the point where you perform an action only for a deep desire to do it, forgetting the fear of what would happen if you didn’t. This is how an awakened Spirit works; no blackmail can break it.
Choosing, by listening to your profound conscious, doesn’t eliminate the Heart, nor does it force you to forget about others because, in any case, you know they’ll get by. Here, I am at another level; a level in which I am intimately connected to the flow of events and people. I sustain their growth but take into consideration their strength and independence as well as my own. I have retrieved the voice in my life and I have absolutely no desire to believe I can take that voice away from others
So to sum up briefly: “When all the energy you’ve wasted on worrying about the world is used to care for yourself instead, you will come out with your head held high against the biggest emotional blackmail of all time: responsibility!
Don’t drown in this cup of water… and if you do happen to fall in, remember, the responsibility has always been yours.