Oops, posted a Krampus picture instead of Santa.
A point of difference that has developed between my own perspective and Megan’s perspective. I want to get to that sort of empty, nonjudgmental place but then use the space created to take bold & confident action. In the post I linked, I think the place she’s describing is of non-attachment from culturally imposed understandings to the point where she can’t break out of certain relationship patterns because she won’t intervene and take decisive action, because that might mean relying on a cultural narrative or archetype which she’s placed beyond the pale.
That is a much better place to be in than ‘attachment’ to culturally imposed bullshit, but I think it’s ultimately going to leave her in a state of detachment from the world without all of the passion and energy and romance and connection that are also possible in life…because that was the whole point of Sūtrayāna, anyway – Enlightenment, the mental release for religious clerics from the humdrum of regular human life through forcing the mind to release some of its natural (but stress-inducing, and possibly outdated in some instances) functions.
I suppose the glimpses I’ve had of the release of attachment have been peaceful but also somewhat empty of meaning for me. So my wish is to detach from all the emotional energy that comes up from these cultural forms, but then use that energy to take action. This is a more Vajrayanic than Sutryanic Buddhist ‘move’, if that makes any sense.
For example, maybe someone insults my beard and says it makes me look like Santa Claus. I’m beginning to feel gruff and butthurt about it, then realize I’m doing what my Dad and other men do and clinging to the male ego, release the butthurtness through non-attachment, and then I propose not stopping there but rather deciding what to do next. There are so many cultural forms to play with and reactions that may be more helpful or useful than the one I’m habituated too, but I do believe that picking one is often the best option rather than always inventing a new one since inventing one may not even be possible. So in the example, I can use the energy of frustration and butthurt and transmute it into something else, maybe I feel like channeling the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt in this moment (a cultural archetype not appropriate in each moment) and puffing up my chest and feeling adventurous. How this will impact what I do next is anyone’s guess, but it will be a more confident, empowered reaction than remaining in the butthurt space, and also than remaining in the non-attached space. Riskier, too but idk, that’s livin’ for me. Maybe I tell him that he’s just jealous of my beard and I challenge him to a pushups contest to settle whether my beard looks like Santa Claus or is an icon of perfection. Idk, these things are hard to illustrate because I’m still mastering them. Maybe someday.
Idk, at the end of the day this could be an excuse for me to think I’m taking ‘bold action’ when all it really means is I’m acting like a hyper lumberjack and having loads of fun but not really any better or worse than the chill nice guy I used to be just different. Who knows?