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Friday, October 24, 2014

Spiritual Cynicism

A laymen or a group of laymen may roll their eyes at the event of meeting a so called cynic. Treating it as if the individual was suffering from an existential funk or an incurable form of crass pessimism. Cynicism by itself can easily be used as a junk term for "a frustrated optimist" as Mark Twain use to put it. Cynicism has many logical and practical applications for developing educated and informed decisions. The concept of cynicism ( with an open perspective) can actually work well with the idea of expanding consciousness and the other junk term " spirituality ". 

Cynism might be looked at as a crass, humorous and almost artistic type of methodology. One might adapt a cynical attitude toward the world view or terrorism or more locally "politics". Cynicism acts as a filter to where someone is able to pull back and look at a series of absurd and unimportant events or idealogies brought into mainstream culture. Some might call cynicism a good "Bullshit detector" perspective. One can take a certain amount of lies and inflated opinions and ultimately discard them as if they were the the peel of a banana exposing the fruit meat inside. On the surface cynisicm is perceived as being a crude and almost insecure reaction to controversial topics brought into the public consciousness. A gaggle of artistic white women might perceive a male artists reaction to feminism as being cynical because of crass and pseudo pessimistic comments. One person's perspective of cynicism is altered by their own perception. One can make logical and fair decisions while using cynicism as a type of tool and less of a filter for responding to the information at hand. People who respond negatively to negativity perpetuate a cycle where the receiver of the negativity has been affected by the initiator. With this in mind, a cynic who meets a person who does not have cynical tendencies may fall victim to his or her view and thus perpetuate the " abuse of cynicism". Cynicism is neither negative or positive in its natural state. It is altered and obscured by people's lack of mindfulness perspective. 

Cynicism in its natural state is defined as, 
an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism. From this definition, cynicism is almost parallel with the idea of skepticism. Skepticism to a degree aids in making decisions and developing opinions about topics that yet to have full factual backing. One might consider skepticism as being a tool to continually ask questions and not simply "accept" an idea or a subject on its surface value. Of course like any idealogy, it can be abused. One could fall victim to the idea of skepticism and ultimately be disillusioned to cold hard facts or moral value. 

The inclination to believe that everyone is motivated by self interest is almost necessary in the modern age. Individualism as it exists in the United States, thrives over the fact that everyone should be able to follow his or hers dream and pursue their own selfish desires. People that fall into the path of pursuing a career( no matter how ambitious) ultimately fall prey to the idea of their own self interest. Most of the self interest creates suffering amongst themselves and others. When success becomes a primarily goal in ones life then their perception is skewed and ultimately driven by egoic tendencies. The very idea of the pursuit of happiness creates the idea that people can't be happy unless they pursue happiness. Some might find that seeking success will bring them happiness and ultimately a universal form of acceptance. Any profession will be primarily be about self interest no matter how altruistic the profession may appear. 
One may ask, " But what about people who help the homeless or even pursue a career or a profession that exists for the benefit of helping people?" When a person gives something or pursues an action that will ultimately benefit another person, it is still self motivated. When you give a gift without the expectation of  getting something back you are still pursuing the feeling of "feeling good " or " a heart warming sense of gratitude". Self interest could be put onto a spectrum where it of course could be abused.
Self interest in itself does not necessarily become a problem unless it is at the expense of others. When a persons self interest is overrun by an egoic unconscious mind, it can ultimately be destructive towards others and the general environment. One could equate the awareness of self interest and ego as a form of subtle cynicism where the motives of destructive self interest do not take control. With that in mind, cynicism could be abused and transform into an extreme form of defeatist pessimism and a "right vs. wrong" egoic mentality. 

As stated above, the adoption of a cynical perspective void of crudeness and crassness can aid in the development of a more aware consciousness. When cynicism is used critically it can provide a logical form of distrust. With the focus on awareness, one could develop an internal cynical perspective based of basic mindfulness and breathing techniques. With the invention of pseudo science and illusory spiritual practices, one could make an informed decision and ultimately bullshit detect when fallacious arguments or opinions are made. Body and mind awareness as well as the ability not to succumb to destructive thoughts and emotions can all work well with this concept of cynicism. The question is: 

Is cynicism necessary ?( especially in developing an informed and logical perspective of the world and the inner workings of oneself ) 

Cynicism at the end of the day is a school of thought that may in itself be irrelevant and unnecessary. It is a label and an idealogy that has no burden of proof or physical form in the material world. It is a sign post word for describing a perspective. It is good that this sign post is conceptualized to distinguish between other perspectiveness, but when you shine the light of awareness and consciousness onto it then it becomes "of the mind". The minds tendency to categorize and label things aids in the idea of separateness. One can pick apart another's opinions and place them in a convenient mental folder of ideas such as "pessimism", "crude" or "sensationalized. 
The action of labeling such perspectives is very surface and limiting. When one labels another a "cynic" then they are simply pigeonholing perspective and anything else said by such " cynic "
will be filtered through the sign post of cynicism. The person that judges the other as a cynic is making an unintelligent decision based on shallow categorization conditioned by past labeling techniques. The accuser ultimately lacks depth and stumps his validity in future arguments with said cynic. The cynic is not at fault however. The "cynic" who adapts the labeling of a cynical perspective wholeheartidly is making a crude and informed decision. The cynic will then use his sonic cynicism as a tool to combat the other persons labeled perspective. " I am a cynic and I know what is right!" Any conceptually perspective whether it be pessimistic, optimistic, egalitarian or cynical has no grounds in good debate or developing sound and logical arguments. Cynicism creates unnessary biases and conflict distracting from the core of an issue.  

I could make a grand claim that Cynicism is in itself "dead" and "unnecessary", but I think that such a vast generalization or grandiose statement is stupid in itself. Cynicism is good to look at through an unbiased perspective that is rooted in mindfulness and non acceptance of label illusions. One can adopt a cynical type perspective without knowledge of what they are doing. When another calls this person a cynic, then the initiator and the accuser  of such perspective should be quite mindful of what they are doing. Just like anger, when it is caught and observed in its tracks before manifesting destructively, it can be muted. When the awareness of cynicism is brought into the foreground of consciousness then it ceases to tak control or pollute a logical perspective. 

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