Initiatory Offering on Recognition

The meaning of recognition has been on my mind and in my field with a certain frequency these past months that cannot be ignored.  What it means to be recognized and what we desire to be recognized for has deeply personal resonance for me right now as I begin to put myself out into a more public world as a being whose offerings are of service and healing.   I welcome respectful discussion so please leave your thoughts and feelings on recognition in the comments.

Namaste (I recognize your divinity)

:  the action of recognizing:  the state of being recognized: such as a:acknowledgment; especially:  formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation b:  knowledge or feeling that someone or something present has been encountered before
from Merriam Webster online dictionary
This seems like an inadequate definition of a word that has myriad concentric layers and a lot of power in certain contexts.
It is a crucial part of human experience to want to be recognized and a source of great suffering when we do no get the recognition we desire.  But what does it even mean to be recognized? Our desires are not what they appear to be on the surface and there is often a deeper “thing” we are seeking so what is it about being recognized that is so important.
Recognition is being seen, but more than with the visual cortex, it is seeing the source of a being, their soul essence, which is the source we all come from.  When we truly recognize another being we see”something that has been encountered before”because we all spring from the same collective soul so it is familiar to us, we are seeing ourselves in a different costume.  The true meaning of Namaste.  “I see the divinity in you and recognize that it is the same as the divinity in me.”
The interesting thing here is that the soul doesn’t need to be recognized because it always maintains its connection, but the human spirit clearly needs this experience. I think what the human spirit is after when it seeks recognition is the reminder of this connection to source.  The human heart is wounded and lonely, it is part of our fundamental condition.  The fall from the garden.  A major drive for us is getting back to that garden, finding that connection and knowing we are not actually alone because somebody recognized us!  They saw us!  We are here, we belong! Our brain chemistry is wired for this because in an ecological sense when we cooperate we thrive and to cooperate we need to connect and to connect we need to recognize each other as belonging and not a threat to survival or survival of our offspring. To this end we have created a complex system of awards of  false recognition for every human act imaginable and awards for those awards and so on ad infintum.  But they don’t fill the need, they don’t work out very well because they aren’t recognizing what needs to be seen. They create a false sense of celebrity.
What happens with that kind of reward society is a further entrenchment of classism and  self shame.  Because we are so desperate to be recognized for our deep self and soul connection to source, but we are so distant from what that means, we have created this system of false recognition that wields tremendous power over our lives.
 We have created elaborate ceremonies of recognition and false celebrity to try and fill this need, the Oscars, the MTV music awards, the Nobel Prize, the Olympics, these are all extremely expensive resource wasting ceremonies of recognition that get us high on our own neurotransmitters. When we receive a “like” on facebook we get a hit of dopamine because we feel recognized, this is addictive (for good reason, see above about ecological survival) and we start to associate our sense of self worth with how many likes we get each day. This system of false recognition is also responsible for our tremendously abusive government and legal structure.  We vest these systems with authority because we falsely recognize them as being somehow more powerful/knowledgeable/closer to God/Source than us.   No one or thing has any authority over you other than what you give it, our “democracy” is a dangerous hall of mirrors.
On another level is the shame game that is created when we are recognized for all of these fallacies of being.  When we are recognized for something there is tremendous pressure to either live up to it or prove it wrong if it is undesirable like in the case of “mental illness”. Incredible suffering is experienced when we wish to be recognized for something we cannot achieve because we don’t have the right genitals/right skin color/right amount of money/right degree and to be recognized as that thing carries privileges we are denied because we are recognized as something “else”.   Our academic structure is set up to encourage the capitalistic growth of our economy, recognizing people monetarily for their degrees and their ability to hoard intellectual data.  Thus recognizing them for the ability to paraphrase someone elses lived experience, not actually to have learned the material in a meaningful way or lived it themselves.
This strange loop game of charades is damaging on many levels but my personal peeve on it is in the healing field.  When we go to someone for healing we so often ask where did you go to school?  What are your degrees?  What certifications do you carry?  And on and on without giving a thought to what their life experiences might be, where they grew up, how they be in the world who they are as an individual and how their lived experiences might line up with and resonate with our own.
The production of all these letters and certificates requires a standardization of learning material and tests to be created.  This is terribly dangerous because we begin to assume that the human condition can be classified into tidy categories and pathologized into positive and negative states of being and the healers job then becomes telling the patient that their state of being needs to be adjusted and they are uniquely suited to make that adjustment because they went to school and learned all about people like you and how to fix you.  This creates a power dynamic, taking the power to heal oneself out of the patients hands, making them dependent on the healer and furthering the misconception that there is actually something wrong with them.
All human experience is “right” all feelings and self identities and patterns of harmony and disharmony are correct and perfect just as they are.  That is what we want to be recognized for, that is the deep recognition that allows for absolute freedom to be, to belong on this planet in our place in the ecological system.  From that place of recognition we can begin to heal.  We can begin to see and feel what is actually happening to us and make the changes we wish to make instead of reacting from our trauma fields and constantly trying to demand that we be truly seen.
All privileges granted through false recognition are the human rights of all of us.  We deserve them all for doing nothing more than being born.
To heal, ourselves, our planet, our collective wound, all that is required is quiet open hearted recognition & non attached witnessing.
“I see you, I see your suffering, you are beautiful, you belong, we are here together.”

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