Leela’s insightful realisations about power.
Power generally is associated with domination. Why would someone or a group of people want power? In order to dominate and control.
I lived in South Africa for the first 32 years of my life and experienced a white racist government’s control over the entire black population. The government had the means to suppress any and all uprising of the black population with military force.
The same domination and control has been happening down through the ages across the world and is still going on. Look at Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Sunni and Shia, and so on.
Then there is one religion trying to dominate over another. Everyone wants to have the power, the control to be the top dog. Power can also be force. America has the power and force to affect many countries, in that it has weapons of war and great capacity to influence unrest in other countries.
Tribe against tribe, one belief against another. All of this so-called power reflects the deep divisions of our separation from ourselves and each other. Our divisions and unconsciousness drive this fear and hatred – the ghettos where the poor struggle on while the rich and powerful live in luxury.
It seems that power is inextricably associated with money, lots of it. The richer, the more powerful will be a country, an organisation or an individual.
The term power comes up a lot these days in so many different contexts. Power drinks, power walks, how to gain personal power, wearing power suits and even the power of love. Is this a reflection of our feeling powerless and our outer attempt to look and act as if we are sure of ourselves, confident and taking life on just to simply hide our insecurities?
What has made us feel so powerless? Low self-esteem? Fear of survival, that we will not make it in this tough world? That we haven’t got what it takes?
There are so many psychological answers to this question and many are born in our early childhood belief systems. Often it boils down to lack of confidence which, repressed in our early childhood, made us feel unloved, not approved of, or unsupported in our basic energy and expression of our life force. This is the area of our personal power or powerlessness. When we examine our early childhood, many people report that no matter how hard they tried to please their parents or teachers, it was never good enough. So we become divided against ourselves, unsure of how to make the next move or afraid to make mistakes. We are just not good enough!
Fearful and hesitant we lose any sense of self-love and confidence that we came with into the world. Look at small children – full of energy, confidence and assurance that this world is their oyster. They are joyous, full of wonder and spontaneity. ‘The world’ has not yet intruded on their innocence. They feel ‘at home’ in their own skin.
There are so many dimensions to our interpretation of power that it gets murky when we try to define what ‘real personal’ power is. My first experience of true abundant power was when I met Osho. Every other interpretation that I carried was so worldly and mundane. What an immense wake-up it was to be in the presence of an enlightened being! That was an experience of power that was so vast, so loving and so gentle. It became clear to me that true power only exists when we have moved beyond the limitations of ego/mind.
This great power of being connected to the whole emanated through Osho’s loving presence. The power of love and superconsciousness is immeasurable. So then I began to feel if one is deeply connected to one’s inner being, then that is the road to a healthy and authentic power. A confidence of knowing, accepting and loving who we are empowers us to share our joy of this realisation.
It has nothing to do with wanting to change or manipulate others. It’s simply a depth of awareness that slowly takes us out of our fears and limitations and frees us. It also opens our perception of the vastness of which we are all part of.
There are so many negative identifications with power but it seems that ‘personal power’ is actually about growing in awareness and self-acceptance. The closer we come to our inner being the more relaxed and at home we feel. The more conscious we are the less we are affected by the negative power trips of those around us, of those who want to bully, manipulate, control or change us. The more aware we are, the greater our freedom; and freedom is our true power.
One of the greatest lessons is to become less identified with what others may think of us. In our insecurity, we try to see ourselves through the eyes others and that can and will only change the more aware we become.
It is important to look within ourselves to see how we also try to control and have power over others. This will give us insight in what we need to release within ourselves. For instance in relationships we often try to control our partners to behave in a way that makes us feel safe or ‘right’. This apparent power trip is an example of our insecurity.
Become aware of your judgements that just separate us from ourselves and each other. The whole problem with wanting power over another is that it creates separation through our trying to dominate and manipulate, which is simply our effort to ease our own pain and fear.
Our journey is within and that is where the power of realisation and awareness arises. It’s all about knowing and being love.
Article by Leela
Illustration photo credit cafeholistic.com
Prem Leela was born in South Africa and took sannyas in 1973; in Pune 1 she worked in the press office, while in Rajneeshpuram she was running the Welding Shop, part of RBG. It was in Pune 2 that Osho asked her to start conducting the Mystic Rose Group by giving her a few suggestions, which she then further developed into its present concept. When she is not abroad conducting workshops, she lives in Australia. mysticrosemeditation.com