Vanity arises when you believe beauty is a moral or social virtue. True virtue needs no classification.
The first betrayal we all struggle with is self-betrayal, to the point that a great many spiritual teachings capitalize on ideas of how they can free us from ourselves. There should be no appeal to the suggestion that we can leave ourselves behind. We are meant to live as these selves, live as this flesh, mind, and spirit allow for us to.
Sometimes a betrayal by someone else gives us this opportunity to free ourselves? It can, yes, or bury ourselves, or more likely we take the middle road and just repeat ourselves. But the message is not the same as the medium. The betrayal is not as important as understanding what you feel has been betrayed.
I’ve found myself wondering that when I feel hurt by someone, wondering what it is that has been betrayed. Sometimes it’s hard to determine. Betrayal is so common as to be pedestrian. Everyone has a betrayal story, and almost everyone has become defensive about it.
So if someone tries to drown you, it’s not a betrayal? I am not saying there are no betrayals, or that it is impossible to betray someone or something. The first, most basic betrayal is murder. This is universally understood, and would be even without socialization. The world’s most “primitive” tribes understand murder as a transgression quite readily.
But when I examine their reason to try to kill me, it has nothing to do with me. People’s behaviour is ninety-nine percent about them, almost without exception. Those exceptions these days usually become famous, figures like Ghandi and Mother Teresa.
The second betrayal is corruption. Corruption arises in our sense of affinity or rapport. We know deeply that we must trust others so deliberate exploitation of that to parasitize the other is a betrayal. Sexual molestation of children is a ready example of corruption.
Any form of child abuse is corruption – whether sexual or not. Actually, I offer that a great deal of child abuse arises from ignorance rather than corruption.
The final betrayal is ignorance. Are there any betrayals outside of these three? Ignorance is the opposite of compassion. Corruption is the opposite of love, and murder is unique in itself.
How about betrayal of self? Betrayal of self arises from either ignorance of self, corruption of one of the channels of self-expression, or attempted “killing” of self or some portion of self.
Where does “fear” fall into? Fear is natural. Fear is no betrayal, but fear of ignorance furthers ignorance. Fear of corruption furthers corruption, and fear of death furthers murder. Fear by itself tells us our instincts are being ignored.
Fear of god furthers god? Yes, god as an institution. It does nothing for what divinity may exist in the world. We actually need the assumption that something is sacred. If nothing is sacred then all choices are equal and imbibing a poison cocktail can seem quite sane.
We can hold the innate self as sacred, and by extension we can hold our contacts with other beings as sacred. We can hold the healing, growth and well-being of life on our world as sacred. Can we hold institutions that exist for their own sake as sacred? Traditions?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.