Lagoon FishingPutting a value on status will create contentiousness. (…) By not displaying what is desirable, you will cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed. Lao Tzu

I am in Mexico and thinking about status. That niggling desire to be “okay” among my peers changes when I am away from my own cohort. Normally, I don’t think a lot about status, and yet I know that “keeping up” on some level is an insidious desire that creeps in when I’m not watching.

Even my spiritual growth can become a pawn to my ego if I let it. Am I mindful enough? Am I more dogmatic than open?

But in relationship to possessions, I’m thinking of myself here. I have the requisite amount of electronics plus a few more. And they stay in my little house without attention. Only my laptop and my cell phone are evident. As in the US, even 12-year-olds carry cell phones here. (Actually, my cell phone is a vehicle to communicate with my husband and so it is only visible when I must stand in the middle of the village street to get receptionJ)

I bring simple clothes and not many of those. My jewelry is appropriate to living here.

What I question in myself is whether I am living the Tao in living simply and blending with my neighbors in this village? Or am I simply succumbing to another peer pressure to have status equal to the people here?

It’s a question.

Life Student


Filed under Tao Te Ching

3 responses to “Status

  1. Synchronicity?

    In my part of the world one’s ability to own a second home and go away to it whenever the mood takes one is a sure sign of higher than the hoi polloi status. And that too in a different country would imply a couple of notches more on the hierarchy!

    Another factor that surely must have occurred to you as well – Do the locals accept you as one of their own? I ask this as over here there are many foreigners who come on spiritual quests and dress and eat like the locals but they stand out like sore thumbs and with the very rare exception, are the butts of many jokes. I personally host one annual visitor from California who spends time living with me and to him I always say that the vessel is of no use, it is the content of the vessel that matters. No amount of his wearing dhotis and kurtas and chappals, or living in India, will make the journey as fruitful as the inner transformation.

    My apologies if you think that I am presumptuous.

    • Life Student

      Good comments and questions. And, no, I am certainly not offended. I’m thinking more in terms of status as “keeping up with” in some silly way. The villagers here are well aware that anyone who can afford to visit this village is certainly more privileged financially than they are.

      Whether they accept me as one of them? I’m not one of them. And at the same time I am…a human who relates on a real level with many of them at many times during the day. Our conversations are simpatico and many times intimate.

      I certainly cannot have control over how they view me and it isn’t really my concern. I am constantly reviewing my own thoughts and feelings to check my own reactions. I feel that a part of my spiritual path is to be sure of where and how I stand in the world in relationship to those around me who are on their own path.

      It doesn’t matter what I wear (which is about what they wear) but who I am that will determine whether they see me as a stranger or as a friend.

      That “who I am” piece is my concern.

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