Interview

Image of the Securitized

Losing Our Confidence: Interview with Adam Lobel, Part 2

The editors at The Arrow recently had the opportunity to speak with Acharya Adam Lobel about his teachings in May 2015 on how four subjectivities of modern civilization inhibit people’s experience of wellbeing and human decency. Below we present Part 2 of our interview. (Click here to read Part 1.) Interview Part 2 Editor: It seems that through the securitized we inevitably create the physical insecurity that we fear, sometimes for ourselves and sometimes for others. In other words the securitized is a collective subjectivity. Much of it is in some sense imagined. But through the imagination of our insecurity, we actually end up creating and projecting very real concrete, material situations of insecurity for many people. How do we work with this dynamic? What do we do when our collective fearful rhetoric generates genuinely threatening situations? How do we respond skillfully when Mexican Americans or Muslim Americans are in real danger of being targeted by violent acts by virtue of the securitized rhetoric based on unfounded fear? Acharya Lobel: You just described samsara. That’s …

Illustration evoking the Indebted

Losing Our Confidence: Interview with Adam Lobel, Part 1

The editors at The Arrow recently had the opportunity to speak with Acharya Adam Lobel about his teachings in May 2015 on how four subjectivities of modern civilization inhibit people’s experience of wellbeing and human decency. Below we present Part 1 of our interview. Interview Part 1 Editor: Adam, it’s helpful to revisit this discussion two-and-half years later. The first subjectivity, the indebted, speaks specifically about debt but could be seen as a metaphor for all kinds of economic insecurity and servitude generated by neoliberal economic structures and market fundamentalism. And yet, as we saw in the 2016 US presidential election and have continued to see over the past year, economic inequality and insecurity are easily misused to generate divisions along lines of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and gender, arguably among groups whose common interests lie in solidarity. If the feelings of indebtedness and insecurity inhibit us from experiencing unconditional confidence, which needless to say leads to much suffering, how can we use teachings of spiritual warriorship to confront this? Acharya Lobel: Before going into …

Images associated with four subjectivities

Losing Our Confidence: Four Subjectivities of the Present Introduction

In May 2015 a group of young people from Europe, Mexico, and the United States came together in Mexico City and Pátzcuaro, Michoacán for the Ziji Collective Leadership Retreat. The Ziji Collective “is a global network of inspired young people, dedicated to the…radical view that human beings and society are fundamentally good,” and the work of creating “a society that is uplifted, caring, gentle, and wakeful.” In this pursuit, local Ziji groups “work through the practice of meditation; through the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and wisdom; and through collective action.” Although we came from different places, we connected through our shared experience as young people facing an uncertain future of climate change, debt, limited options for rewarding stable work, disappearing free time, technology and media disconnecting us from each other and our bodies, surrounded by overt and subtle forms of violence. We explored ways to support each other across borders by initiating collaboration and establishing communities of practice. Over enchiladas in Pátzcuaro’s busy square and during contemplative walks in the gardens of the Casa Werma retreat …