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On Vulnerability - Part 1

People usually see vulnerability from a defensive point of view, rather than as a resource. Existence gave us nothing we don't need; everything we have has its function, its intelligence, its reason. Being hurt is a capacity, not a deficiency.

Try imagining a world where nobody is vulnerable. Where the capacity to live, to feel one's own hurts does not exist. How would that world look and feel like? Disastrous, a desert.

 

Our capacity to be hurt gives us a fundamental thing: empathy towards all the people around us. We can feel others’ hurts. There is an incredible intelligence in this capacity to recognize one's own hurts, feel them and stopping «healing» them. We don't want to heal our wounds; we want to be in contact with them. We want to grow along our hurts.

The essential difference between a child and an adult is that a child gets hurt and has no capacity to survive in this world in an independent way. Therefore, his hurts bring him to the edge of life and death and there is a real fact of survival.

But with us adults it is another story. Each one of us knows how to survive, otherwise we would not be here. That means we have a capacity, more or less refined, more or less stable, of regulating our existence, regulating the energetic charge and discharge of our existence.

This means we have the capacity of accessing our resources, that a child does not have. Because, a child has no capacity to autonomously regulate his charge and discharge of energy, he needs mother and father. Mother, above all. The child is almost totally dependent.

 

Ourselves, if we liberate and clean our system of blocks, conditionings, contractions etc., we have a natural intelligence that has the capacity to regulate the system, the charge and discharge of energy. As we are, naturally, like inhaling and exhaling.

This gives us the permission, the space to go and live a flow of thing in a non-infantile way.

So, the capacity to recognize our own hurts, to live our own hurts, the capacity to stay with our own hurts, is a fundamental aspect of the essential compassion, which is the capacity to let ourselves be, the willingness to let ourselves be.

Until we are looking to cure our hurts, we are doing a thing contrary to the intelligence of this organism.

Because, until proven otherwise, with all the hurts you are caught up with, you are here, breathing, relating, communicating, with a life. This means the system has the capacity to live with those hurts, absorb them and create richness out of. It is not a thing we lack; it is the abundance we have.

Vulnerability is the capacity to exist through our hurts, as well, and this intelligence makes us, paradoxically, stronger the more vulnerable we are.

 

 I repeat “Vulnerability is the capacity to exist through our hurts, and this intelligence makes us, paradoxically, stronger the more vulnerable we are”.

 

It is not difficult to experiment with this. Just try to put yourself in a position of invulnerability, physical or emotional, and you will surely find someone or something breaking that invulnerability; because, when there is resistance and rigidity, things can be broken easily.

Instead, vulnerability is a fluid system. It is more like water, than a rock. It adapts, recognizes, apprehends and mirrors back. Therefore, it is much more difficult to attack vulnerability. In martial arts, the highest level is reached when a student forgets the techniques completely. When they are well learned they vanish, they are gone. The interference of «I know this, I defend myself in this way» is gone and the disciple is completely fluid and vulnerable in the present moment. No projection in the future, no expectations, no strategy.

The more rigid is a system, the more attempting to be invulnerable, the easier to crack it.

The more complex the defense system is, the easier to find the weak point.

 

True vulnerability is the intelligence of no defense. And it is a thing that cannot be mentally solved, it is practice.

I understand that it is difficult to choose vulnerability, but if intelligence is going its way, it goes inevitably in that direction.

The point is looking at that whole thing turning around the criteria we have learnt. That vulnerability is a lack and invulnerability is positive, because existentially it is just the opposite.

In the same time, it is very important, if one is not completely foolish, that we do not take down our defenses unconsciously. We need to learn to do that step by step, taking down defenses beginning in situations where we feel safe and supported.

This is the only way we learn, by experimenting, practicing things. Obviously, to do it, one needs to be present. So, we come back to presence as the necessary condition to being able to have any kind of concrete reality, not conceptual.

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