The Spirit of a True Champion.

 
 

 

 

 

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There was a moment in the Women’s Olympic Badminton Semifinals, when Sindhu was playing the reigning All England Open champion, Nozumi Okuhara, the Japanese girl’s retrieval skills were incredible, falling on the floor to lift a smash, then scrambling up to retrieve a shuttle placed at the other end, and it seemed nothing Sindhu could do could break through this acrobatic defence…

But Sindhu reached deep, held nerve, upped the aggression and went on to win. It was goosebumps stuff… no, not just incredible skills and superlative acrobatics… but because they both reached deep into that place… into that which separates Champions from mere winners… the spirit was tapped and the spirit stood revealed. Similarly in the earlier match against Wang Yihan, the world no 2, Sindhu held nerve in the second game…

A few weeks ago, Judy Alban, part of the Creator's Child Family and national bowling champion, faced a similar situation. In the Karnataka Bowling Championship she trailed her opponent. Right till the final, she trailed. Then she reached deep within... and won. Yes she won, but let us spare a moment for her opponent. Did she lose?

 

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  But how do these silly games matter?  

 

Now, India at this Olympics has 2 medal winners. You may say, just 2, a poor showing after 2012. And clearly humbling if 'we' place ourselves against China, or Brazil. Let alone America. Or you may say 2 medals! That's better than zilch which at one point seemed inevitable when all the more obvious heroes were eliminated. {Incidentally, Tarun kept getting the number 2, when seeking the numbers we'd get.}

At one level it is irrelevant if a few shuttles went this way or that. It's just a game after all. But at another level Life is just a game too.

 
 

Reducing Bloodshed... Spreading Peace.

 
 

In early history, in many parts of the world, wars were avoided through games... disputes were decided by single combat. Avoiding mass bloodshed.

In America in the mid nineteen fifties a debate raged as to whether sports and American football had to be reduced in importance at universities. The sporties won. It is argued that the amazing American competitiveness is greatly fuelled by American football.

 
  Fuel Rage... Free the Slave  
 

Each of us is an infinite being.

Each of us, in the pettiness, hardship, ugliness of life, forgets we are infinite beings. Abused, defiled, enslaved, broken, crushed or just sidelined... many of us cannot even conceive of anything but existing, if you can call it that.

What is worse, most of us realise we will not reach the blessed oblivion of the rationalist, the saccharine heaven of one-life religions, we will enter the world of many lives where actions have infinite repercussions...

But great pain gives us a great gift... great rage... Many sometimes have wondered why Lord Shiva in the Vedas was called Rudra... or Rage.

'Do we imagine' asks the incredible spirit guide Seth, in Jane Robert's books 'that the leaf poking its way through the ground is pushing its way insipidly? It rages through the earth that presses it down.'

Rage is not damned... passivity is not blessed.

The world's great boxers and wrestlers have largely come from disadvantaged districts. The pain and hardships of life bear terrible but magnificent opportunities. But what do you expect from boxers? the stuck up spiritualist may argue.

One of the greatest spiritual figures Milarepa was also one of the most humiliated and enraged... Lord Krisha came to the Earth when asuras ruled. Lord Jesus was born in a time when the jews were crushed. The great Sikh spiritual tradition emerged when the Mughal boot ground North India. The reason why souls come to the earth is precisely because the earth has a rawness that tests its glory.*

We have encountered so many such real champions in the last 20 years as healers. Yes, we are delighted to encounter You. Let us speak of just a few who we met this year... triumphing over impossible odds...

One is a sporting champion, whose childhood was a nightmare... she not only has fuelled the force to become a national champion. But she is one of the mildest, most loving, gentle people imaginable.

Another is making waves as a psychologist. Her life hides one of the ugliest stories we have ever encountered. Far from faltering she has turned it around. Her ideas of adolescent empowerment is heart-warming. at a recent healing she soared unimaginably, returning with a glimpse of the Soul Ablaze.

A former Miss India faced virulent cancer whose cure is beyond modern medicine's potent arsenal, so she turned to something more ancient... healing has connected her to inner grace, her tumours inexplicably shrank... the danger has not vanished... but the spirit has revealed itself...

 

   
 

Go for the moon...

 
 

When Celia and I came to Bangalore, one of the most disturbing and difficult things we encountered in many ad professionals was the belief they were second best compared to Bombayites... and nowhere compared to Global creatives. And this was the hardest and strangest thing for us... Here we sit in India, one of the few places in the world where the entire spiritual doctrine aims for a goal so high most other parts of the world consider it heretical... Oneness with God. There is no ambition as towering. No achievement as magnificent.

There are so many in many parts of the world who believe they are second best. That they are not good enough, that they have to skulk in the shadows, or worse hide their smallness with arrogance, or tear down those with dreams.

So tell yourself. You are not second best. But you are also greater than the first. You are The Child of The Creator. You are the brilliance. You are flame. You are light that lights all worlds.

But the bigger the hopes... the bigger the fears... A niece of Tarun's with a true artistic talent would have liked to have joined a competition instead she pushed her sister to go for it... Why? because she would have loved to have participated, but she was scared of failure...

There are a thousand obstacles between our dreams and us... And there is one way that will humble the most difficult challenge...

 
  Keeping The Faith...  
 

Few who see Divya... yes our very own petite Divya... yes, the master aura seer and healer who has zapped so many across Bangalore... will realise that she was a Karate Champion. A state level karate champion.

"In one match I was meeting this hefty black belt, she was much bigger than me, had rippling muscles. During the match I was feeling battered and bruised. The woman during one kick had cut open my leg. When I cleaned it during rounds I found a large fragment of a toe nail still sticking in... But you just have to hold on.. to believe... to do what you can do... to trust..." -- Divya Subbanna

Keeping the faith, taking the hiccups, the falls, the scraped knees, the criticism, the rage of the crowd... it is not easy... But for us all... we are all souls that have exchanged zones of impossible joy for earth's clay and gravity... we need just to ask, just to trust and hope will light the way...

 
  Aim High... And You Will Fall... But then if you are true to yourself you will Rise Again...  
 

Yes you are an infinite being... you are also, man, woman, child, animal in a world that may seem unforgiving. In a world that may be friendless. You may feel you live in the shadow of defeat. And you may. For it is the idiots who dream big, the Icaruses that fall the furthest... and the hardest.

We fall for a thousand and one reasons... stupidity, greed, unfocus, timidity... but one of the more prominent is arrogance...

One of our most soaring spiritualists had exactly such an icarian fall. Buyoed by initial spiritual experiences she began to consider herself realised... and not just at the first few steps in the awakening process... the crash took down her family, business... thankfully she has picked herself again...

A corporate motivator with incredible vision, imploded after a stellar career of stunning achievement. A Sense of Defeat... Financial Crisis... Failing Health... would it seem would lead inevitably to an early grave... reaching deep into self belief and the grace of the goddess he has risen again... as phoenix... his second stint will blaze brighter than his first.

The famed architect Buckminister Fuller almost committed suicide... he fought his way through and the world knows his Bucky Ball... even if we haven't used its full power...

 
 

 
  But isn't aiming for gold, a desire, and isn't desire and damnation one and the same?  
 

The answer to this may be found in the Cosmic Heart notes for the 6th Causal body Workshop it says "I ask... and asking learn the width of my wings."

The truth is that the limitlessness that is God is forever exploring the limilessness of God. One of the ways infinity explores the infinite is through the finite. Why? For the same reason a thief may send a child into a home, because it is small enough to go through the window bars. And the same reason a biologist chooses the microscope over the telescope.

 

   
 

In the Badminton Olympic Women's Finals watched by India with bated breath, the spirit was victorious again. In the first game, Sindhu pipped a dominant Carolina to win. In the second Marin stormed back to level scores. The third was a real battle with Marin taking an early lead, and then Sindhu fighting back to level scores, at 10 all. Would Carolina be swept aside? Marin opened the lead. Trailing 11-15 Sindhu pushes back and at 16-14 Marin must have been wondering if she could hold off the resurgent Indian? And the raucous Indian crowd that out-shouted the Spanish turnout.

 
 

Going beyond Winning and Losing...

 
 

The idea that life is just about winning and losing is one of the most dangerous one's possible... It can turn realtionships into battlefields, work into cockfights, life into a hopeless war... It is the desire to win by any means that stands behind humanity's worst moments. Colonialism, slavery, white supremacy, crusades, jihads...

Let us visit a victory higher than winning and losing... an idea, an ideal, a polestar we may call Triumphing.

Long, the German long jumper in 1936 was competing against Jesse Owens, the American world-record holder. Long set the Olympic Record in the prelims. By contrast the great Jesse Owens was dejected for he had fouled two jumps. One more and he would be eliminated. Long instead of celebrating his rival's downfall, gave Owens advice that helped him qualify for the finals. In the finals both jumpers beat the earlier Olympic record, but Long took silver and Jesse won gold.

Long took silver and Jesse won gold. But on that day and for all eternity silver is more precious than gold.

Owens said. "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four carat  friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment".

Early games like the Olympic games in various parts of the world helped the merely talented discover their true worth... helped society go from mediocrity to excellence, from mere excellence to triumphing. By supporting Owen, the German Long helped dent Hitler's ideas of white supremacy. By supporting Owen, Long helped show man the better way... the greater sky...

 
 

To return to the Sindhu match... after 16-14, with every point a bloody world war, Carolina pulls away.

After she wins, Carolina falls to her knees. Her back away from Sindhu. Sindhu waits a moment, then shakes hands with the referee, then proving what a real champion she is, she crosses the lonely court of her defeat and embraces her tormentor, Carolina who is still unbelieving on her knees.

Marin recovering from her joy reciprocates with a heart-warming gesture where she reached out to the Indian coaches. There were winners on the 19th August 2016, but more significantly there were no losers. Olympic medals were handed out. But that was hardly the point... humanity won.

So what does it mean to be a true champion? It is perhaps time to read Kipling's immortal If... for here was a writer who didn't just write, but lived his truth... whose words are a real compass in a confusing world.

 
 

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too…   

“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

“If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings… 

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you…

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

-- Rudyard Kipling

 

 
 

Now many humanists will stop here... with mankind's victory... But we cannot stop with humanity's triumph alone. The stakes are much higher. For we do not stop with our skins. We are part of a great net that the ancients called the web of life and scientists call fields... We are intimately tied to every stone, raindrop, weed, rat, dog, cow, bird, chimp, man, woman... We are part of the earth... the earth is part of us...

A few years ago, a monkey came to our balcony, armed with a stick I, Tarun, ran out to chase him off. Calmly looking me in the eye, and at snarling Buffy, he weighed his options, to the right were two walls that went on without any purchase for 30 feet. He leapt off the balcony, pushed off wall to wall, left- right, left-right, to reach the safety of a ledge 35 feet away. An ordinary monkey made a move that no human gymnast can hope to replicate, and with no safety equipment. But that is just acrobatics... the superiority is moral tooo... if you weigh the two of us, me with an angry stick, and he unarmed with utter calm... it was not he who was the monkey.

The experience was deeply humbling.

There are times when some call us master, or would like to touch our feet. And we demur. There are times when we stretch the idea of the possible... when the universe reveals her secrets, and listens to us... Just yesterday our bluetooth speaker was giving trouble, and Celia gave it a spot of healing and the sound became crystal-clear again... There are times we are tempted to preen... then we remember our many earthly teachers, the calm monkey, the butterfly who rose above a broken wing, the dog who triumphed over death... Yes, we remember the many of you who were smashed by life's hardest blows but rose up... supported by a wisp of healing energy or supportive word... standling tall...

When we die we will not be asked how many Olympic medals we won, but if we lived, really lived, if we believed with every ounce of our being, if our life blessed our world, if our footsteps marked a path to the stars...

When a true champion wins, there are no losers... everyone wins... Now that is worth reaching for...

 

 
 

-- Tarun & Celia Cherian

 
     
 

*Now there is a belief that some of us are so damned we will speand eternity in Hell. And yes there are zones the soul encounters be it in this life, or after that is hellish. But there is a reason why no hell can be permanent. Because the greater the despair and rage the more the pain generated. The more the pain, the greater the desire to escape. The more the pain, the more angels collect. Why do the angels collect? Well since we are like the toes of THE ALL, the more infected God's toes get the more he is motivated to heal it.

But the truth is that this is not a trivial promise. We cannot clear our debt with a meaningless sorry. But we can clear unthinkable sin, karma with a bone-deep, heart-felt sorry.