Uncage the animal

The yoga and spirituality movement has a bad habit of demonizing what is erroneously labeled as our "lower nature." The message -- sometimes proudly spoken, other times quietly implied -- is that to be highly evolved, we need to transcend our animal desires and primitive needs. 

Nonsense!

Too often, spiritual bullshit results from the inability to face our full humanity. Then, dogma and idealism spread within the community like a disease. The false pretense around "living in the light" is an unconscious avoidance strategy. 

We attempt to transcend what we are most afraid of. 

Lust. 

Anger. 

Pain. 

Rage. 

Confusion. 

Insecurity.

That secret little fetish; be it for gangster rap, artisan ice cream, vintage kung fu flix, or kinky sex. 

Any part of us that is denied, subdued, or hidden from our community is likely to come out sideways. 

Remember that scene from the movie Chocolat!

Guilt, shame, and denial have never worked. 

Not for Catholic priests. Not for Zen monks. Not for straight-laced soccer moms. Not for secular spiritualists. 

The fact is, we are a exquisite bundle of contradictions. To be awake is to illuminate and embody the full spectrum of our being. It's about integrating every aspect of ourselves and making the most conscious choices we can in all Nine Spheres.

That means getting down into the dirt of life. 

Our practice includes the shadow and the animal. 

All of it. 

The whole beautiful mess.