A chum who liked the Visionary-Manager-Soldier model – which I had discussed with him at length over some particularly nice beer:
…asked whether having a vision is “too yang”. I thought this was such a good question. It covers so many traps in what is commonly perceived as the “spiritual” path. I personally have (de facto) experienced this take and seen many other people going through versions of this. There is much contained within this apparently simple question that might be of interest and of use to you – or someone near and dear to you.
So here are my thoughts. See what you make of them – or more importantly see what your thoughts are – mine aren’t meant to be “right” or “wrong” but rather to spur you on to arrive at your own views.
In the first post in this series Balance Dreaming, Thinking & Doing – your Inner Visionary, Manager, & Soldier I gave my version of “your inner Visionary, Manager, Soldier” model and defined the Visionary, dreaming role:
Visionary – responsible for deciding on direction and what one wants to do/go/achieve in life. Future-focused. WHAT do you want in life?
Along with some commentary on what happens when one doesn’t dream. In the second article in the series Is Your Life Like A Runaway Train? Absent Visionary Issues – I asked:
Are you just taking what comes in life, reacting to events, and just about managing to keep all the plates spinning? Is life controlling you most of the time?
If so are you happy with that? Do you enjoy the life you have right now?
Let’s save my and your time and just bash out some bullet points. Some reasons why – if you have a Visionary – or if you spend time dreaming – there might be a subtle – or gross – aversion to it. Why you might feel having a Vision is too yang, too active, too pushy.
1. The Vision you chose is too Yang lol
Let’s say your Vision is to be President of the US. That’s a pretty Yang vision dude! You are going to have to struggle and manipulate a lot to get that achieved 😀
But it’s your trip man. You can choose a Yang vision or you can choose a Yin vision (eg “I will take whatever comes my way”).
Or (but this is complicating things perhaps) – you can have a Vision (“I would love to spend time living in South America”) and Values (“I want to be kind and receptive to whoever comes my way”). Maybe some of you would feel happier that a Vision-Values formulation makes it easier for you to encompass both the active aspect – what you want – with the passive aspect – how you will relate to all situations.
2. “Going somewhere is not spiritual”
Many “spiritual paths”/religions do have a very passive take on life.
We must first see that all around the world institutionalised religion has often/generally been a power structure. And a power structure has those in power and needs the rest to be disempowered. So – subtly or grossly – whether it’s the Roman Catholic Church or the Tibetan Theocracy – there are disempowering teachings aplenty.
Furthermore many “spiritual” or religious paths put the focus on the beyond and not on the here and now. This life is “not real” .. salvation lies in the future, elsewhere. Sexual desires are base forces. Etc etc. Yada yada.
Look it’s your trip man so you take whatever position you like. But it seems to me that this life is so fleeting, it’s a passing cherry blossom that you might as well turn up and be in it for this tiniest sliver. Whatever happens next will come soon enough and – if its anything – will last infinitely longer.
Also – and I believe the yin-yang symbol is pertinent (and often misunderstood) here:
Life is dualistic. The “spiritual” container – the wu-chi in this model – is the circle containing the yin and the yang. You aren’t spiritual by just trying to be yin, passive, weak, disempowered of your birthright … which brings me to…
3. You have disempowered yourself – purposefully or out of fear
If the first issue is others have nudged you to be disempowered then the second is “you did it to yourself” (maybe with “their” encouragement). It doesn’t even have to be religious – I have seen a few examples of buddies who have “successfully” been though AA and “no longer drink” but have done so, in a way, by de-clutching, by disconnecting themselves from their power.
Other examples of where one’s own power has scared one abound. They don’t have to be just “in this life” … a dedicated transformer I know did a lot of work he found very helpful around “past-life” (whatever that means – but it was effective so it doesn’t matter lol) disempowerment. Namely in prior “lives” they had come fully into their power and then the shit hit the fan.
In my case in my recent shamanic journeys with Leo Rutherford one of my visions was very strongly that about a decade ago “I” had pulled out a huge electricity cable backstage. Now before then – for my first 40yrs pretty much – life had been linear success in the phenomenal realm. After that and getting pneumonia my Midas touch career-wise turned off. If you like I had been yang for 40yrs and this loss of power (it was clear to me) was to investigate more the yin direction – and all these TTEMy things.
4. You are worn out by struggling with life
The “system” is pretty tough man these days – whether you have a job or not. Most people in London perhaps have given up “struggling against the tide” and are being swept along as the easiest way of getting by. And we all do that at times – quite understandable.
But – like the absent Visionary issues – this risks leading a “not really alive” life. It’s why people do extreme sports et al – to really feel alive.
However before you are burned out I would say these circs are precisely the ones where one needs a good Vision (even if the Vision is just “to feel alive”) and a good Manager. You know – up the diet, exercise, relationships etc – before you are even more wasted and the body pulls the fuse and you get ill.
5. Too much Mr Nice Guy(/Girl)
We are strongly conditioned to be “nice”. And it’s hard to see much wrong with this isn’t it? And I must admit it took me decades to see through this fully (well if I have got to fully yet lol). Perhaps only last August when I read this book (4.3*/5 from 265 (!) reviews at amazon.com right now) – don’t agree with every word but he hits a lot of nails on the head:
At Dr Glover’s website he gives an overview of how he got into this:
In the early 90s I had a crisis. I was about two years into my second marriage. I thought I had found the woman of my dreams. Yet I was frequently frustrated and resentful toward the woman I loved.
I did everything I could to make her happy. I tried to solve her problems. I tried to be a good father to her children. I tried to be a better man than the other men in her past. I tried to be the best lover she had ever had. I put her needs ahead of mine.
In spite of everything I did for her, it never seemed enough. I could never seem to make her happy. She was frequently moody and would lash out at me, seemingly without provocation. Our sex life sucked.
My resentment grew, but I kept it all inside. I just kept trying harder to do whatever it would take to make her happy and get her to give me the love, appreciation, and sex I so deeply desired. …
I slowly began to see how my “Nice Guy” behavior was not only not getting me what I wanted in my relationship, it was actually doing great damage. I began to learn about things like boundaries, self-care, self-soothing, and honesty.
I came to realize that the road map I had been using my entire life was extremely flawed and incapable of helping me get what I wanted. It was like I was trying to navigate my away around Seattle with a map of San Francisco. I was sure the map was accurate, but no matter how hard I tried, it never got me to my desired destination.
There’s another book I would recommend for nice guy/nice girl syndrome – “Too Nice For Your Own Good”
In the context of Visions “being too nice” can mean you are just letting everyone around you set your vision as you think this is “being nice” and that “being nice” is – er – well – er – nice 🙂
Do what you want, live how you want 🙂
However for all of us, it’s the subconscious that decides 99% of this. A subconscious programmed by other people mostly before we were aware of what was going on.
“Wake up” means many things … one of which is we do have choices. We do have this life. And then one day, all too soon, its “Game Over” and then we don’t.
I have given 5 reasons for why aversion to dreaming might occur, or why ones dreams are too weak and wimpy, too passive…
- your dreams are too crazy lol
- you have bought into religious/spiritual passivity – recall the parable of the talents – you have been given them to use maaaan
- you have disempowered yourself – maybe out of fear [Tripp Lanier says many of his clients are plain scared of owning a vision (as then they might have to deliver/run out of excuses etc)]
- you are worn out by too much struggle
- you are being “too nice“
Can you think of any other reasons you and your chums are a bit shy of having a Real Vision and settle instead for a passive, watered down one?
After reading these articles on Vision have you sat down and worked one out? Have you left a blank sheet of paper lying round with “Vision” on it? If not why not?
If I came to you now with a magic wand what would you want?