The Gate of Artemis


It’s cool to be cool. But it is not clear what we mean by that. We do not need to wear sunglasses to be cool for a number of reasons.

Firstly , why the sunglasses? We should be able to follow Plato and walk out of the caves of opinions (Doxa in Greek) and look at things as they are (Episteme) in the bright sun light of reality, without tainting this reality with the shades of our sun glasses of conditionings, habits and prejudices. If we have the courage to see, we may just about find out that, despite appearances, reality deep down is very beautiful. Appearances betray. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Secondly being cool relate to a relative temperature, isn’t it? So, it is not a question of look but a question of state or condition in which we are. The importance of being surfaces here. Not being earnest or being honest. The importance of Being , period.

Thirdly, becoming cool would thus mean to trade hot heads and cold hearts for cool heads and warm hearts. So altogether, a more balanced body/psyche temperature, where we use both sides, the yin and the yang (rajo and tamo gunas in sanskrit) according to their respective principles (Tatwa in sanskrit).

To fine tune our central (nervous) heating system so as to reach both, the right balance and the right temperature, we need to understand how it functions. How do we blow our fuses or freeze the radiator? Reactivity to circumstances heats us the head through stimulation of the right side sympathetic nervous system and the ego (too much thinking, planning action, assertiveness, busy body type etc…) . Reactivity to circumstances freezes the heart through loading of the left side sympathetic nervous system and the superego, which stores debilitating experiences and inhibiting memories (this is the freezer that conserves failure, fears, pain, emotional stress) . So, in order to be truly cool (ie defined as cool head and warm heart) we must gradually minimise or get rid of reactivity.

Reactivity means we are steered by the impact of the outside world on our inside psyche and by our own impulse in response to these circumstances. We are not quite in control, yet. This is the normal human, all too human condition. To overcome reactivity we need to reach the condition where the gravity of these forces does not act. Ounce that a person knows how to meditate in thoughtless awareness (nirvichara sammadhi), through the spontaneous (sahaja) process of meditation, he/she is no longer under influence. Tthe self regulation moves from extremes (hot and frozen) to balance (cool and warm). This is why, as Lao Tseu and Socrates reminded us, the sage cherishes moderation. The operative word for it is “wisdom”. Wisdom is the mother of all coolness. They may not know it on MTV.