Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Angeles Arrien's passage ...

Instilling Discipline and Responsibility in our Lives

On Mar 16, 2011 Chris wrote:

In discipline + responsibility I heard a new term emerging to try to encapsulate the immense human capacity that is conveyed in all this.

I love the perspective on discipline of "becoming a disciple unto yourself" -- deeply examining your actions, words, thoughts throughout life and constantly learning, growing. And the meaning of responsibility invoked was not only one of actions we can (and are called to) take, but also a level of awareness of the effects of our actions.

It occurs to me that when one cultivates values of truth, equanimity, love, beauty, kindness, compassion, this level of action, self-reflection, and awareness begins to arise naturally. Discipline and responsibility as words, then, don't easily convey this depth, especially as those words are used in a slew of other contexts, diluting their potency. 

So I thought back to Gandhi needing a new term for nonviolent civil disobedience (which was incorrectly viewed as "passive") and holding a naming contest :) which eventually birthed the term "satyagraha" -- commitment to truth.

Then why not "value-graha" -- commitment to values? Satyagraha meant that you could take a beating from someone and still look him in the eyes with love. What if we took this sense of responsibility and discipline and applied it to whatever we find ourselves in front of? Not in a forced way that the term discipline sometimes implies -- I imagine you can't force yourself to wish well one who delivers a blow to you, it either naturally arises from a deep commitment to values or it doesn't -- but in a self-regenerative way of acting from deeply cultivated values and constantly self-reflecting, self-reflecting to continue deepening into them, and then again acting...

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