Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having so distinguished it, be prepared to say so, irrespective of the views held by your superiors or subordinates and of consequences to yourself.
Moral superiority is the belief or attitude that one’s position and actions are justified by having higher moral values than others. It can refer to:
Morality, when two systems of morality are compared.
Self-righteousness, when proclamations of moral superiority become a negative personal trait.
We struggle to understand that two things can be contradictory and true at the same time. Opposites coexisit. This murky feeling of cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable in today’s world and so we decide that one or the other is true. And then once we decide, we gravitate toward news feeds of facebook posts that support and enhance our view. This is making us collectively stupid and intolerant of other points of view.
And still there is no denying, we are all interconnected. As Carl Sagan wrote as he neared his return to stardust:
“Except for the two simplest, hydrogen and helium, atoms are made in stars. A cascade of thermonuclear reactions builds hydrogen and helium up into ever larger and more complex atoms which are then spewed out into interstellar space as the star ages and dies. There they drift for ages, occasionally coming close enough to one another to make a bond. Then two or more atoms make a commitment to go through life together. These bonds are the business of chemistry. In an eon or two a maelstrom of self-gravitating interstellar matter gathers up solitary atoms, and those bonded with their fellows, and plunges them into a forming planetary system. Four and a half billion years ago, that is what happened in our neck of the galactic woods. Our warm and well-illuminated little world is one result. All the atoms of Earth (hydrogen and helium still excepted) derive from these distant and ancient interstellar events — the silicon in the rocks, the nitrogenin the air, the oxygen atoms in a mountain stream; the calcium in our bones, the potassium in our nerves, and the carbon and other atoms that in exquisite detail encode our genetic instructions and job orders for making a human being. We too are made of starstuff.
There is hardly an aspect of our lives that is not touched fundamentally by chemistry: electronics and computers; food and nutrition; depletion of the protective ozone layer; mining and metals; medicine and pharmaceuticals; every disease including AIDS and cancer, schizophrenia and manic-depressive syndrome; drugs, legal and illegal; toxic water; and much of what we call human nature. We are, at least in large part, the way we are because of the atoms and molecules that make us up, and how they interact. In a deep and fundamental way chemistry makes us us.
The coronavirus unites humanity in that none of us have immunity to it. In that way, it is a great equalizer, though those will monetary means will likely fare better, as always. We are requested to stay home and practice social distancing in order to protect others who are more susceptible to the virus– in other words, to do our civic duty to take care of humanity.
My world view is my own, but it has largely been shaped by my yoga teacher, Manouso Manos. Manouso does not consider himself anything but a yoga teacher. He does not like to be put on a pedestal, and in his classes he consistently reinforces the theme of taking care of humanity. He expects students to take responsibility for themselves. I can see how an innocent bystander with no knowledge of the depth of the teacher student relationship witness some of his interactions with his students as harsh, and at the same time, those students are immensely grateful for his honesty and intensity.
I have been particulary fascinated by the person referred to by the original accuser, YP Yoga Police, and CD girl (crystal dildo) as our Advocate. By all accounts, the Advocate is not a member of IYNAUS nor been in a class with Manouso. There is no doubt that there is a LOT of money behind the Advocate and with that comes power and a certain invincibility but not against a novel corona virus. COVID-19 both unites and isolates us. These opposites are both true. It’s these kinds of paradoxes that make us suffer and feel so alive.
I like to think that most people operate out of good intentions, and so I apply this to the Advocate. She has spent a great deal of time writing every Iyengar Yoga organization around the world and and calling out those who planned to attend Manouso’s workshops, threatening media attention for hosting and supporting a sexual predator. Her mean-spirited facebook posts get no traction on her facebook site other than from her sister and the same people who keep giving the thumbs up to each other and won’t move on with their lives now that Manouso has been destroyed and his thousands of students are left without a teacher or an association to which they feel aligned. She regularly dissects and critiques IYNAUS’s responses and is ready with an email to send to anyone who offers to host a Manouso workshop. She is lauded like she is an expert, and I keep asking myself, what motivates this Advocate?
The reference that Manouso is guilty is not consistent with any legal finding. Manouso has denied and continues to deny all the charges.