When found out that the week’s lesson was on Kali, I thought what good timing. I mean with Halloween just round the corner, I had the perfect costume in Kali! She is gross, and scary and yet a little delicious with her wild hair and blue tinged skin. And her tongue hanging out adds a touch of burlesque which is crazy appropriate for Halloween isn’t it?
So you can see I was not happy to be learning about Kali. I have always kept my distance from her, finding her coarse and repugnant. Whenever I noticed her in a temple I was a bit scandalized or offended. Temples are sacred places that are about purity, spirituality and our enlightened selves. What was such a repugnant image of our lower, base selves doing in a place of worship?
I started listening to the recording reluctantly, telling myself it was only one hour and would soon be over. I listened to the first point that Kali was endless possibilities with disbelief. And after the four points that we had to write on, I thought maybe I can hang up now. In fact I stopped the recording and took a break and then later that day I managed to convince, coerce and cajole myself to continue with the rest of the call. I’m so glad I did because somewhere in the second story about ferocity, I suddenly began to get interested in Kali. I realized all my preconceptions were based on her appearance and admitted to myself that I really didn’t know anything about her besides her externality. Her ferocity amazed me. What determination to be the victor, to vanquish the demon. I realize that Kali represents ferocity or the determination to destroy negative emotions or evil. She destroys greed, pride or evil and protects knowledge. She helps you pull what you need out of yourself to get to your goals whatever they are. And that ferocity to succeed, its not pretty. Opening your mouth and sticking your tongue out and chewing and swallowing whatever stands in your way is what gets you to the finish line. Sometimes that’s what it takes. But its not pretty. And I struggle with things or people not being pretty and nice. I want to be a nice person and I want everyone to be sweet or funny or nice to each other. My friends are nice, I married a nice man and the bosses I like are nice people. Bosses that are rude or extremely pushy or mean, and I usually part ways. I understand that they are getting the job done which is important but so is politeness and consideration. Im reading Steve Jobs’ biography right now and he pushed himself and everyone around him beyond all possible limits in realizing his dream or vision. And because of his relentless drive, the world is really a different place. But I think its easy to mistake ruthlessness and self gratification for this ferocity to protect good and destroy evil. When entrepreneurs, CEOs and even artists pull out unbelievable or unshakable determination to fulfill their vision or potential, its not only they who work incredible hours but often their families and staff that pay the price as well. But in Kali’s fight to defeat the demon (who used to be a nice guy who got corrupted by power) the stakes were incredibly high. She was the last resort. If she lost, the world was doomed. And even the most fervent Applenista will admit that the world would not have been doomed if Steve had not come up with the iphone
I am thinking out loud and trying to get clarity for myself. How do I get the determination to continue creating a life that resembles my dreams in the face of failure and obstacle within as well as outside of me? When it comes to life and death, you have to focus on your third eye and pull Kali’s ferocity out of you. Even if it means you are no longer pretty, and end up with red shot eyes and blue tinged skin It’s not that I don’t work hard or that I don’t challenge myself but it’s really not limitless. In pursuing your dreams, you really have to pull all the stops out. And when the obstacles appear, you have to suck it up, chew it and spit it out. So I ask myself do I have that ferocity. Do I? How do I pull that out of me? I always hold back don’t I? Sometimes I think I am more of an observer then anything else. But I can do it. Because not fulfilling your potential or realizing your dreams is a form of death. Stay focused and pull it out of myself. Kali ma. Kali ma. Kali ma.