Transforming Fear to Joy

Ideal or Shadow: Which Rebel are You?


People who know themselves have the power and magnetism of confidence.  This charisma draws others seeking self-knowing.  Why?  Because an enlightened person cannot be enslaved or imprisoned.

The enlightened [person] is the greatest stranger in the world; [s]he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines [her], no community, no society, no nation.

Osho, The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Chapter 9.

The Rebel—archetype for an enlightened person—has broken free from societal conditioning and opinions to live in accordance with her own true nature.  The Rebel challenges us to be courageous, to take responsibility and to live our truth.  This rebellion is conscious and thoughtful.

But what about the other type of rebellion, the kind that might have emerged in our youth and acted without consciousness or conscience?  My poem, Spontaneous Rebel, describes the darker side of my rebellion.

Spontaneous Rebel

I put aside the spontaneous rebel
that voice within warring against intuition
wanting only to react as impulse.

Sadness registers as I watch her fade away.
Do I believe impulse gladdens for a lifetime,
when I am lost in the revelry of the moment?

Is that why I allow her in?
Or, is it the impatience of immediate gratification
with which I compensate my weary warrior?

This is childish not child-like.
Absent of innocence and filled with the need of greed,
I play Russian Roulette with acts of self-destruction.

Although I love the Truth Teller,
I feel less than kindly with this truth.
And tho’ my dear one assures me,
“You don’t attract bad karma,”
I carry the guilt of a Catholic nun.
The burden often outweighs the act of rebellion.

January 2001

Have your released your inner Rebel?  If so, which rebel are you expressing in your life—your Ideal Rebel self or your Shadow Rebel self?  And finally, what inner truths are you not living by?

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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