Dangerously Alive

Vulnerability is an interesting idea and one which, along with so many other ideas, are distorted and tainted away from their original meaning. So much can be left out or even altered into something entirely different. A modern man will typically associate it to infancy and femininity; rarely, it even comes to the surface when a crisis emerges within the safe walls of one’s family and inner circle. In most cases weeping, crying, or perhaps exaggerated forms of sentimental emotion (like hysteria) are strongly associated in the mind with what we consider vulnerability to be. There is rarely anything beautiful or even necessary attached to it, yet when one digs deeper it is fascinating to [re]discover the utmost importance of nurturing and developing this side of your being. We are born into this life and fall into the processes of indoctrination, reared by parents and taught by rote by teachers. Reinforcement of how to behave correctly among others in the streets, within the walls of square-enclosed rooms, and even through the trails of nature, continues subtly and then steadily climbs in intensity as the rules of conduct become cultural dogma. Layer after layer the emotional sensitivities which allow children to feel carefree, wildly curious, and utterly tender dry up, lose their moisture, harden, stagnate, and deteriorate from lack of exercise.

We have seen waves and waves of self-development movements sweep through book shelves, private and public groups, and seep into our lives through the channels of artistic expression and general communication. They are introduced strongly at different times when it is evident that people are saturated with bored, uninterested lives. Routines and habits replace spontaneity and curiosity — for some this state of affairs becomes unbearable. Searching for cures they hope to find something which will guide them back to the type of experience they had when they were children — or perhaps search out for something higher than themselves. My intention here is not to choose one aim, objective, or goal over another. Instead, I want to address vulnerability, the side of us which we hide in our daily lives. When confronted we become defensive. When a word is said or an action is made which affronts our sense of worth or authority, we become agitated. There are so many instances of lunacy which come of the reactions we fuel daily and sustain and nourish as if we enjoy them, and likely also secretly idolize and worship.

Poetry and soft words often refer to the open heart, a gesture of lowering the weapons our personality is armed with and centered on. The idea is that you can learn through an open heart in ways which would take the cold, analytical mind years upon years to match — or never. There are many words I could fill a book with to describe this further but it is more important to probe and investigate the types of weapons we carry and discover whether we can, from moment to moment, little bit by little bit, step by step, lower them. Like a sustained effort of meditation, concentration on dropping your guard, an effort to feel the world, feel the circumstances, and become sensitive to a circle wider than the one drawn around only you, your family, and your friends, old and new emotions can meet and enliven your reality. Of course, fear of failure and a thousand other fears will try to prove that with each failure in keeping your heart open, with each reaction and the defensive posture of climbing back into a hardened shell, this idea has little merit in the real world. They will suggest that it is better to live safely dead than to live dangerously alive.

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