Some time ago, I had an exchange with a blogger elsewhere and there was a term that jarred not for its descriptiveness but for its cynicism. As a descriptor, it was spot on but the spirit of it seemed one of jaded mockery, of the self and others. Cynicism is separatist.
Since then, I’ve found myself straying into thinking about how easy it is to slip into its viscosity. It’s a familiar mindscape, I guess most people go through it either in phases or then as a way of seeing the world, I’ve occupied that space too. It’s a comforting worldview to have, there is no expectation of anything good so one cannot be disappointed. But it is also limiting in its reluctance to be open to the vulnerability of hope. Cynicism tends to be based on outcomes rather than process and braces for dissatisfaction. In a way, it is an expression of fear, a fear of possibility. And therefore the mental posturing is usually one of looking in from the outside, strengthening separation in an already divisive world.
It is an immobility which could become stasis ultimately leading to decay. That is a loss, for oneself and the people in one’s orbit. When I consider it through the lens of asana, cynicism might express itself as I’m never going to be able to get into that pose so why bother. It throws a spoke in the wheel of progress if one does not even attempt because the mind has already decided the end result. But there is a parallel dimension where transformation happens even when it seems impossible. The hundredth attempt perhaps lifting you up effortlessly into a headstand. I see it in a seed growing into a tree, a human breaking the 2 hour marathon barrier and so on.
“There is freedom waiting for you,― Erin Hanson
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
There’s much that is wrong and terrible in the world but there’s also much that is good and joyful. Every time an icon passes away, there is collective mourning. Perhaps, it is a mourning for the loss of hope in a world where it is easy to be trapped in the desolation of cynicism. If I stop to consider how those people lived, what I see is a forging ahead. There is no place for cynicism in that march. It’s just stepping into the next right thing that is possible. It calls for creativity, ingenuity and fortitude and the ability to laugh at oneself, dust oneself up after a fall and climb up that tree again. I write this as a note to myself if ever I need a reminder.