The praise of limits
The month of October is the time to switch to two numbers: 1 and 0, an opportunity to welcome the paradox between our unique and separate individuality (1) and our universal consciousness (0).
Ek Ong Kar can be translated / interpreted in many ways. The most common is that the creator and the creation are one. This means that we are an expression of the great All or the great One. But this expression is limited in space and time. We come into this life with a body that delimits and limits us, and also for a certain number of breaths, therefore for a certain time.
We are a unique expression of the universal consciousness (0) through a specific prism (1), a unique constellation of the 5 elements. We can experience the limitless and timeless (0) in this life, but we cannot escape our creaturely condition (1).
Acknowledging our limitations and embracing them completely without shame, regret, or frustration is the only way to experience the unlimited while remaining at peace with who we are. Any other attempt is only a strategy of the mind to escape the pain of being limited and separated, and spirituality might create distance from our true nature.
To embody Sat Naam is to live this paradox. SAT: the universal consciousness, NAAM: this is my identity ~ I am a limited expression of the universal consciousness, a lens through which the creative principle unfolds. I can experience GOD, the DIVINE, but I cannot be GOD!
In our society there seems to be an allergy to limits and the consequences are destructive. Creation is only possible because there is a polarization that generates movement, constant transformation, and continuous change. This polarity is named differently in different contexts: Yin ~ Yang, Shiva ~ Shakti, Feminine ~ Masculine, ….
For the subject of limits, the Jupiter and Saturn polarity is interesting. Ignoring one of the polarities is a strategy of the subconscious mind to keep control and to avoid being confronted with parts of ourselves that we have put to sleep and are afraid to wake up. Including both polarities would mean facing our insecurities.
Learning about limits should start at a very young age, but the tendency of our society today is to smooth out this confrontation.
Some simple examples.
Not so long ago, when we did not yet overheat our homes, getting up in the morning was the first confrontation with the cold, we quickly put on a dressing gown and later we changed into warm clothes. Cold and clothes are two essential elements to be in relation with our physical limits and to build our identity! Today, some children stay naked most of the time at home (a house that has the same temperature all year round), thus avoiding the transition between night and day, and spending most of their time in front of a screen in the morning. They remain in a virtual womb (Jupiter), generating depression (lack of pressure ~ Saturn) compensated by an excess of fire (anger, rage, …)! The child may even become tyrannical, showing a desperate need for limits.
When we come to Kundalini Yoga, one of the first things we do is to take a cold shower when we wake up. The cold water on our skin reminds us of ourselves while strengthening our nervous system. Comfort can lead us to sleep and give us the illusion of happiness through the complexity of our minds and the fulfillment of all our desires when life is much simpler than that.
Some educational trends emphasize the need for an absence of constraints for a child’s healthy development. Parents no longer set limits, and therefore no longer respect themselves, and feel guilty when, to compensate for this absence of a framework, they become “abusive”. Love is of course the key to the development of children, but without structure (Saturn), they cannot find stability and cannot relax into who they are. Rules allow them to position themselves and to develop in security. The two polarities are necessary, the feminine that unconditionally welcomes the child’s state of being, and the masculine that gives structure and rules within which the whole family can blossom in respect and in listening to each other.
Facing our limits also allows us to realize that we cannot control everything and this cultivates our humility. Nature plays a major role in reminding ourselves of our limited and unlimited condition and gives us an opportunity to feel gratitude for this experience. But from that as well, we are moving further and further away.
Physical effort through sports allows us to touch our limits closely, where the mind calms down to immerse itself in the present moment, where each breath becomes so precious because it allows us to take the next step or pedal the next stroke.
Limits allow us to discover the stability that is essential to live and manifest our sensitivity. The limit does not stifle sensitivity, on the contrary, it puts it at the service of our destiny by guaranteeing our balance. Without it, we become victims of circumstances, and we use our minds to criticize the “abusive” exterior environment.
How do you confront your limits today?
KRIYA & MEDITATION
Strengthen your nervous system to gain stability facing an increasing flow of impressions and information.
“The greatest today is that parents are afraid of their children. They never discipline their children, because they feel that if they discipline their children, they cannot get their love. actually, they sow the seed of hatred. Because the undisciplined child will never be a disciplined person and undisciplined person will never be successful. An unsuccessful man will just feel cursed, angry and he will put that on somebody. So, life has become to claim unhappiness and blame others for it and nobody wants to improve the self.” – from the lecture of YB before he taught this kriya!