Liberation • 28 February 2009

What if it is mainly in the minds of Americans that ashtanga is a rigid law? Is that because it’s what we need it to be? So that then we can break free of it and find our liberation?

We are so much more interested in catharsis than practice. We turn everything into a liberation struggle, but are so shallow that we keep running on the American cliché that liberation is to be found by fighting the system. I do it to. Less so now than in the beginning, but it comes up.

But the System is no big deal (blows on fingernails). Smash patriarchy on your time off. Work out the alternatives to authoritarianism in your sleep. We only tilt at that windmill during practice to avoid the liberation struggle that’s closer to home. We have thoroughly confused internal peace and freedom with abstract liberation struggles fought against imaginary authorities.

I guess it is kind of more fun to obssess about some mean old people out there who want to take away our practice. It also feeds the catharsis addiction and gives us material for the eternal power struggle we must fight in order to feel free. Mavericks. Individualists.

“Don’t put some pre-conceived rules on me.”

What? Conceived where? What’s the issue?

This practice is so full of criminals and outlaws that there’s almost nobody to do us the favor of representing the law. The ashtanga police? Who is that? We want to imagine “they” care about what we’re doing, want to fantasize that we are wild west cowboys throwing off their oppression. Well…good chance “they” are more concerned about (1) paying the rent and (2) managing your projections without collapsing. We should send them a check for being strong rocks in the shifting sands of our daddy issues.

The cult of the law-breaker is a rehash of the commercial myth of noncomformity, and strikes me as especially immature in a time when we could be realizing how intimately and practically all our fates are connected. Instead we just liberate ourselves from some phantom system, and then re-liberate ourselves from imaginary dictates, and then proclaim ourselves liberated to form a maverick collective, and then unite to go get some more liberation.

Liberated Americans: united in noncomformity!