In the many phases of self-work, there comes a moment when one becomes cynical. You look within yourself and find that you are entangled in dense webs of automatic mechanisms, invincible shadows, fears, and needs. But you especially look at others and see a humanity imprisoned in its habits, role-playing, and dependencies: no hope. And here many stop, fearing they have taken the wrong path: they wanted the heart of a Christ but found their own barren like a desert.
In ancient times, the importance of this phase was known, and there was even a school dedicated to the Cynics. The cynic (translated as ‘like a dog’ in Greek) was someone who lived their life in absolute autonomy, stripping away their needs until returning to a spontaneous naturalness, always in line with their own vision, with an open gaze to embrace the world.
It is told that Alexander the Great, sensitive to philosophy, arrived in Corinth and wanted to meet the cynic Diogenes to honor him. He found Diogenes basking in the sun and stood before him saying, “Ask me anything you want.” Diogenes looked up and replied, “I ask you to move aside and let me enjoy the sun.”
So do not give up right here: nothing grows in the arid sand. Keep going, ask for what mattered to you before it moved, remain with your eyes on the sun: this is the purpose of the ‘cynic phase’, to cleanse the remnants of personal beliefs, to go all out in order to find the meaning behind all of this. And when the spirit has cleansed and relaxed, then you will feel a clear release. The heart will begin to open again, and you will discover it to be different: another heart, that of a new self.
And in the face of this desperate humanity, you will burst into laughter, knowing well that you, too, hadn’t seen hope until you became hope.
A loving embrace.