Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Wrathful Muse


Animosity in social networks is often passed off as righteous indignation. Antipathy may be blatant, like when a fifteen year old girl is bullied and urged to kill herself. Other times (and this is what I am most often guilty of) the malicious core is sugar-coated in barbed humor. Personal attacks that reek of harmful intent are often justified as self-defensive measures or explained away as as tough love that is meant primarily for the target’s own good.

The Tibetan Buddhist pantheon includes a class of enlightened beings called Wrathful Deities. They are visualized as fierce and terrifying entities who may be covered in human blood or eat the hearts of their enemies. In meditation, a practitioner visualizes herself as the deity in order to awaken those archetypal powers and transform her own negative energies. Until enlightenment, the task is to purify one’s own mind, not the minds of others, like a parent who first puts an oxygen mask on her own face in an airplane emergency so that she will have the clarity and endurance to take care of her children.

When I channel the Wrathful Muse, I mistake the resulting work as an enlightened manifestation when it is directed at the negativity of others rather than on the impurities of my own mind. The transformative potency of the bitter medicine she brewed is only meant for me. So I am recommitting to the Wheel of Sharp Weapons and will seek to experience the vicissitudes of life as a purifying agent rather than a call to externalized judgement.

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