where the writers are
The curses of qualities / the quality of curses

I'm not talking about cussing. I'm talking about curses.

We're born with a set of qualities. They relate to our bodies, minds, and even our spirits. These qualities show themselves before we even have our first thought. They show themselves in our instincts, actually in our reactions to our instincts.

Since my son has been able to walk he has had one overbearing habit. He walks to me, where ever I am, when he wants something he can't get / do for himself, grabs my finger and pulls me to the task. He grunts, almost like a marine barking orders and intonates what he wants. Some would call this bossy. I call it the leadership instinct. It runs deep in his psyche and if I'm good at helping him learn to temper it, he might grow into a phenomenal leader some day.

Since my daughter was able to interact she has wanted to help. She wants to do things for others. She has a strong need / desire to be useful. She loves to untie my shoe laces for me when I get home from work. She loves it so much that if we forget and I take my shoes off myself she throws a tantrum about not being able to do it for me. That's how much she cares about being able to demonstrate her love for me.

These are qualities that Krista and I did not teach them. The children were born with those qualities. Some might say its written in the stars, others might say its all in genetics, all I can say is: I've never seen anything as strong as that within myself. So how could it have come from me and my behavior?

I say all this as some sort of evidence for the conclusions that I've drawn. Upon re-reading, it seems weak, but it is the best I can do. Experience is far more powerful than words will ever convey.

My conclusion is simple: we are born with qualities over which we have no control. They are simply what makes us unique. From my narrow, almond shaped eyes, which Debi seems to have inherited, to my wife's square jaw which both children seem to have inherited, these qualities are given by reality for the experience we call life.

I could list my qualities as I'm sure most of you could as well. We all tend to navel gaze now and again after we fall flat on our face and we tend to learn about ourselves in that way.

But there's something more important that I've learned.

I am not my qualities. Let me paraphrase: I am not the qualities that are the features and functions of this body, mind and spirit.

People might argue and say, "Oh but you are those things: you are tall, you are near sighted, you are nerdy, your mind is strange and confusing." To them my reply is simple, "Those are the qualities of this vehicle: the qualities of this mechanism that exists in reality, but I am not any of those qualities and I am not even that body or mind, nor am I that spirit."

In Hinduism there is this concept of the curse. All of the plots told by the Rishis in the Hindu spiritual texts involve at least one curse. The great story tellers of that age made it very clear that everyone is subject to curses. Even the highest of the Gods, Vishnu, was cursed to become Ram, lose his kingdom, family and even his divine wife in a drama that makes most of today's dramas seem utterly simple by comparison.

The old teachers also talk about boons. When the devotion of a person is so strong that they become one pointed toward one ideal, they are unconditionally granted a boon by Goddess.

Its amazing to me how these "energies" play out. Curses are met out by angry Rishis toward the disrespectful and boons are given out by Gods and Goddesses to the most sincerely respectful devotees.

What really is the difference between the two? In one case a disrespectful person upsets a Rishi, and the Rishi deals out a punishment that suits the crime. In the second case the God or Goddess allows the devotee to ask for anything.

Seems different huh? Its not different. Its the same thing.

Why is a person is disrespectful? There are an infinite number of reasons, but it all comes done to one thing: the person is dominated by desire or fear which causes him or her to act in a selfish way toward everyone. They just happen to bump into a Rishi and the Rishi sees their ignorance, feels sorry and/or angry and curses them to see the truth about themselves. Will it do any good? Its purely up to the person, the energy is coming whether they like it or not. If they accept the curse it will free them from their selfishness. If not, they'll bump into another Rishi and the process will start all over again.

What will a person ask for when granted a boon by God or Goddess? If they ask for anything there is one thing of which you can be sure: they ask for selfish reasons. The boon will thus show their strongest weakness, their strongest selfish quality and the boon will feed that quality, exposing it. Thus the boon in this example accomplishes the same thing as the curse in the previous example. Should the person accept the boon, face the quality and stop desiring more boons, they will be liberated from that selfishness.

These old masters are trying to tell us how the universe works, but its too complicated for them to express so they create simple stories which can be perceived at many levels and they hope that people will gain knowledge and experience by telling, reading, hearing and acting out the stories.

The old masters write these stories as they do for one reason and one reason alone. They selfishly want to pass their understanding on to others. There is no other reason to do it. They think that their wisdom, knowledge and experience are valuable and should be shared. Which is why many of the "true" old masters spend years writing books only to finish thousands of pages and toss them into the rivers, oceans and fires. They realize they wrote the books for their own ego and toss it aside.

What is the purpose of their stories? What do they really want to teach us?

Its more complicated than this, but I like to think of it this way: our qualities, like my nerdiness, my son's bossiness, my daughter's helpfulness and my wife's stunning facial structure are examples of the boons and curses we are born with.

For example, if my son were to be granted a boon, perhaps he would ask to be Mayor of San Jose, and be granted that. He would have to face the curse of leadership which perhaps he desired for selfish reasons. If he didn't face it, he would likely ask for the boon of being a state representative and face that curse of leadership. As soon as he faces it he stops the desire, but the momentum continues. The quality is not snuffed, the quality that he was born with goes on and he still plays the roll of leader because it is after all one of his qualities, but he stops asking for boons and stops bossing Rishi's around earning their curses.

The more he identifies with the need to lead, the more bossy he is, the more likely he will attract those kinds of jobs into his life. His desires become his curses and boons, just as his birth qualities were his first curses and boons.

The old masters are talking about the nature of the universe, how we are granted these qualities which attract us to certain behaviors, desires and fears and how they create a cycle of energy which continues until we consciously break it, rise above it and then do exactly the same thing but with a sense of detachment that enables us to do the most healthy thing for all and for all time.

We never actually change who we are, we can't. We merely become aware of everything and do things for reasons beyond the selfish and self motivated.

These great attractors, these curses and boons, are constantly being granted to us. In every moment of every day for the entirety of our lives. In each and every moment we are building our futures based on our desires and fears. When we face those desires and fears, become conscious of all the qualities we were granted, we rise above desire and fear and begin to consciously choose the future we build.

That is true freedom.

Update: I realized this morning that the Gods and Goddesses represent the universe and how it responds to us with the granting of boons and the Rishi's represent the part of us that knows the truth, contains the wisdom, and curses us into failure so we can see our limitations and grow beyond them.