A Blog about Shadows, the unconscious patterns of belief and behavior that block access to my authentic, sacred masculine self

The very best use of life

...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Shadow of Hero Worship

“Happy is the country which requires no heroes.” -Bertolt Brecht

“If you have a hero, look again; You have diminished yourself in some way.” -Sheldon Kopp (from If you Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him)

"A fixed idea ends in madness or heroism." -Victor Hugo

During the presidential campaign of 2008 last fall, I returned to a habit I had put away some years ago, which was to watch the nightly National news broadcast, although unlike the earlier time, I could record the broadcast to view at my own leisure. Like most everyone else in this country, it seems I was caught up in the fervor of the possibility of electing the first African-American President of the United States, a man whose rhetoric touched my soul, a man who spoke of “people who just didn’t get it” and promising to show us a new way of doing business in government. I continued this habit for many months after the election and inauguration to see how our new “hero” was going to get the job done. Then one day in June and for a week or so afterward, the news was devoted to the death and life of another hero for many, a hero not of production, like a President or leader of industry, but a hero of consumption, a musician and dancer. I was struck by the irony of how much I was drawn into the drama of his death as everyone else who had the time to stop their day to listen. Soon afterward, my new “old” habit became old once more. It seems that, once again, I was letting the news cloud my own sense of worthiness.
On my page “How I Stopped Waiting for my Prince to Come”, I speak of how we are waiting to see if our leaders will come to our rescue and “pull a proverbial rabbit out of the hat” with regard to the economy, healthcare and the myriad of other fearsome things that has taken over our sense of who we think we are. We seem to have moved beyond looking at our leaders as mere role models by making them into heroes and, in so doing, setting ourselves up for the eventual disappointment when our leaders don’t live up to the expectations we have put upon them by making them heroes? I have heard this already in the press and on untold internet sites about how much President Obama is no different that any other politician. I hear people upset because their once future President has yet to deliver on his campaign promises and has been co-opted by the powers that really are running the show. What I am hearing is that our “hero” has let us down, once again. This is the shadow of hero worship, where I abdicate my own power to happiness and self-determination by putting my life in the hands of heroes. It is where I am fixed on an idea or a person to the point of worshiping that idea or person as unfailing and infallible. When I am fixed on something outside of myself, where then, am I?