Vanity thought #1192. Envy of Krishna

This is a difficult subject to write about. On one hand it’s very simple – we, the fallen souls, envy God’s powers, and so I could go through them one by one, how we want to be as strong, rich, or as famous as Kṛsṇa. Easy, right?

Not so fast. Our envy lies at the heart of our hearts, it’s spiritual in nature, it existed before we were placed in the material world, while all the comparisons with Kṛṣṇa I can make now are based on our current conditioning. We can compare Kṛṣṇa’s strength, for example, to our estimate of how strong Hiraṇyakaśipu was. We can compare His beauty to our current standards of beauty, and so on.

We would also speak of our current, conditioned attitudes to these opulences. We might feel indifferent to fame and so consider ourselves free from that kind of envy. Well, no one is indifferent to fame, ie recognition by fellow human beings, but we might be relatively indifferent to strength or beauty, depending on our gender. None of it addresses our original envy and all of it reflects our false egos.

How can I talk about *my* envy of Kṛṣṇa if it’s based on my false ego? What is truly mine in this case? Articulating our inner heart desires is nay impossible. Even figuring out what is it exactly that we want with Kṛṣṇa is impossible, let along putting it into words.

There’s another problem here, too – we don’t speak from the heart. All the thinking, talking, and typing is done by material bodies and minds which work under the influence of the material nature, ideally engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service but we can never be 100 percent sure about that. Even if they are, they still work under the influence of higher powers, not our inner selves. Kṛṣṇa always censors what we do here, I can’t make a single keystroke without His ultimate permission.

This arrangement is for our benefit, of course, so that we don’t do anything stupid and screw up our spiritual lives through inevitable offenses, but it still means it’s nearly impossible to express our hearts’ desires. Moreover, envy is such a corrupting quality that we should never speak of it in public, it’s contagious, it’s a can of worms that should never be opened.

Holy Name will slowly work its way through layers of dirt and grime in our hearts and, in due course of time, defeat envy, too, but there is a problem with that scenario – our envy is OURS, it’s what we want and Kṛṣṇa would never force us to love Him against our will. The Holy Name would probably only strengthen our determination to confront and challenge Him, because Kṛṣṇa always reciprocates. If that’s how we want to relate to Him, that’s what we get.

Deep meditation on Kṛṣṇa through envy is entirely possible, that’s what Śiśupāla did, as I mentioned yesterday. It should be possible for us, too, we can be totally absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, 24/7 without a break, but it would be relationship of envy, which we can’t even express in material words due to limitations I described above.

Occasionally I get glimpses of that envy, it just flashes in front of me, takes over all of my being for a second or two before my mind gathers itself and my intelligence tells me I can’t indulge myself that way. As I said, I can’t articulate these feelings, can’t classify, qualify, or quantify them. Sometimes they are triggered by clear external factors, though, and in these moments I can sort of understand what really bothers me.

For example, I can’t accept Kṛṣṇa being the only bhoktā, the only enjoyer. I can’t see myself as eternal bhoga, to be enjoyed. I want to be an enjoyer just like Him, within reason, of course. I draw a line between what is His and what could be mine. If I don’t get what I think should be mine my fuse goes off. I can’t accept that everything, including my body and my inner being is meant strictly for Kṛṣṇa’s enjoyment. Nothing is meant for us. Well, the material world is, of course, but that’s not where we want to find ourselves again and again, is it?

From reading about lives of people in the spiritual world it’s easy to imagine them as being legitimate enjoyers, especially on Vaikuṇṭhas. They even get the same form as the Lord there, and all the facilities, including wives and husbands. They just don’t die and don’t suffer – sounds perfect for me.

Or is it false ego talking? Aren’t we all meant for Goloka Vṛndāvana? Isn’t it our spiritual home? Some forcefully insist that for real devotees Vaikuṇṭha is like a living hell, in our sampradāya there shouldn’t be any thoughts of getting Vaikuṇṭha liberation, be it sālokya or sārūpya.

It’s all very nice, but there’s also the reality of our current spiritual predicament. Far from being on Vaikuṇṭha, Kṛṣṇa banned us far away into the depths of the material world, and we shouldn’t think, even for a second, that we didn’t deserve it. This is exactly what we wanted, exactly how far away from Kṛṣṇa we desired to be.

So, even if stripped of our material conditioning, this is still what we want deep in our hearts. Envy is our life and soul. Well, I shouldn’t speak for others but mine clearly is.

Even more – you can’t clap with one hand, if our predicament is the result of our relationships with Kṛṣṇa turning sour then He shares some responsibility for it, too. He did or didn’t do something for us to make us turn away from Him this way. We know for a fact that He can be absolutely heartless, too. He can be colder than death, being the Absolute and all. Just look how He treated His devotees in His own Vṛndāvana. He hooked them up first and then left them wilt and shrivel out of separation from Him for many many years until they died, without relief.

We say that their separation is the highest rasa but we should also admit that it is extremely painful, it’s not a walk in the park.

Perhaps we were just like them but couldn’t pass the test of time and found ourselves different interests, which are better served down here, away from Kṛṣṇa and the associated pain. Now they try to lure us back with promises of eternal bliss. Thank you, but we’ve been there before, and this bliss is not what we understand by bliss in our current material condition.

Important point, however, is that they try to lure us back. We will never make it back to Kṛṣṇa on our own, we need to be dragged back there, kicking and screaming. We will never find enough attraction to Kṛṣṇa in our own hearts to make it all the way across the material ocean. We just don’t have the necessary love for Him, and it won’t arise simply from chanting the Holy Name, for reasons I already mentioned – chanting would only strengthen our existing convictions.

That’s why devotee association is so important – that’s where we can get the taste of real devotion, which we don’t have ourselves. The Holy Name along can’t grant us this taste, unless there’s some special mercy. Love of Kṛṣṇa can be learned only from other devotees.

That’s the only way to overcome our inner, spiritual envy. We have to learn proper relationships with Kṛṣṇa from others, our own having been doomed. We failed in it already, it’s gone, we can’t restore it on our own, Kṛṣṇa wouldn’t listen, we need someone else to bring us back and beg Kṛṣṇa on our behalf.

Good news is that only one eleventh of a second of such association can save us forever. Bad news is that we usually misuse this time on worrying about inconsequential things or try to learn something else from our gurus instead.

Not to despair, chanting will cleanse our hearts from material grime and then it will become easier to take full advantage of association given to us.

Just to reiterate – listening to our hearts in our current state is useless and possibly even dangerous, needs to be ignored in favor of the words of our guru.

Vanity thought #1172. Pakka jnani

I was listening to a class the other day and there was one curious question at the end – who is better, a pakka jñānī or a sloppy devotee? I’m going to somewhat disagree with both the speaker and the devotee who asked the question so I better not mention any names. Bad enough I know who I am talking about, no need to spread potential offenses any further.

The answer was actually perfect. The devotee giving the class immediately brought up api cet su-durācāro verse (BG 9.30) and gave some new insights into it. New for me anyway.

First, he concentrated on the meaning of su-durācāro, the most abominable actions. We tend to think it’s just some awkward stuff, silly mistakes no one wants to admit in public, but here Kṛṣṇa talks about really the most abominable stuff. Stuff that convicted felons kill each other for because it’s inexcusable even for them.

Nice turn, if you think about it. Instead of trying to determine “most abominable” limits by our own experience we can look at the dregs of the society and see what is considered the lowest by them. Or one could just visit 4chan and read some of their commentary. The downside to this is that if Kṛṣṇa meant socially unacceptable stuff, then, as He was talking to Arjuna, it must be judged by standards of that time, not ours. OTOH, His words are eternal and His mercy is absolute so He should be able to top up anyone claims at any time, including 4chan’s.

And then this devotee mentioned the next verse, which we don’t always quote in this connection – kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā – he soon becomes righteous. Kṣipra means “quickly”, and in this verse Śrīla Prabhupāda translated it as “very quickly”, but then again, it’s quick by Kṛṣṇa’s measure.

To illustrate this the devotee gave an example of Kṛṣṇa’s answer to the Ganges when she complained about troubles awaiting her in Kali Yuga – she was afraid of all the sinful reactions people were going to deposit in her waters and she didn’t want to become a toxic dump, but Kṛṣṇa assured her that there would be no problem – in five thousand years … *Five thousand years* – no wait at all! Well, I checked the verse in our present, unauthorized Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, and it’s just a loose rendering to suit the occasion, Kṛṣṇa didn’t use the word kṣipra there and He didn’t promise it would be fast, but it’s a good point anyway – what is kṣipra by His time might appear unbearably slow by ours. That’s why first quality of a devotee is patience, we have to chant the Holy Names with patience, everything else must wait and would come in due course of time.

Coming back to the verse, another important feature there is that Kṛṣṇa was so insistent on it that He asked Arjuna to announce it because Arjuna’s word was considered more solid than Kṛṣṇa’s own. So, it must be true. We must consider such devotees as saintly and we must accept that they will never perish for their sins. Remember this when you come across someone willing to dance on Kīrtanānanda’s grave. We have plenty of those who will not even consider overlooking other devotees’ sins, whatever they are.

Anyway, before delving into the answer the devotee asked for a clarification of what “pakka jñānī” and a “sloppy devotee” mean in this question. For “sloppy devotee” it was established that it’s someone who has committed himself to Kṛṣṇa consciousness but he is loose in following four regs and he doesn’t always complete his rounds. This was accepted and that was who api cet su-durācāro was applied to in the answer.

Pakka jñānī is more interesting here. Pakka is an Indian word meaning “neat”, “perfect”, “mature”, “complete”, and so on. Jñānī here was someone qualified by Vedic standards – reading up on Vedic literature, following Vedic injunctions (probably smarta rules, though). Following brahmacarya, vegetarian, the regs, etc. Probably with a tinge of impersonalism in his outlook but open to other ideas, too.

This is where I strongly disagree. I’m pretty sure I understand what the questioner had in mind, it was clarified, the answer mentioned these qualities, too, and I understand and agree with the answer, so I’m confident that I know where this question is coming from. This pakka jñānī is a non-devotee. He has heard of Kṛṣṇa but he has never thought of surrendering to Him and never chanted the Holy Name in proper attitude.

How can we possibly compare him to a devotee?

How can we possibly compare any kind of jñāna devoid of bhakti to devotion and chanting of the Holy Name? All repositories of all jñāna in the entire universe are not worth a drop of bhakti, not worth of one syllable of the Holy Name cried with humility and devotion.

I completely reject this premise. It should never be put up for a discussion, the possibility should never be acknowledged, even silently.

We can analyze it from another angle, too – what does “better” mean in this context? Better for whom? As conditioned souls we understand “better” in personal terms. We think we know what is “better” for us. We can also empathize with others and see how things might be “better” for them, but as devotees our only meaning of “better” should be “better for Kṛṣṇa”.

Now, in what possible way a non-devotee jñānī can please Kṛṣṇa? Absolutely nothing he does interests Kṛṣṇa in any way. Nothing, complete indifference. A devotee, OTOH, however sloppy, constantly chants Kṛṣṇa’s names and begs for His mercy, protection, care, shelter, and love. He might be marginally annoying at times but He has PERSONAL relationship with the Lord, however fragile and unsteady. It is ALWAYS better than indifference. Kṛṣṇa will NEVER forget this devotee, as was cited in the verse above.

I don’t know how one can think that Kṛṣṇa would consider non-devotees, however pakka, as being better than His bhaktas. We might be total crap but we can’t accuse Kṛṣṇa of not caring. His mercy is absolute and boundless, it is always better than His indifference.

In questions like this, and they are not new, the idea is that while sloppy devotee might have a head start, the pakka jñānī has fully charged batteries and as soon as he turns to Kṛṣṇa he will make tremendous progress in a very short time, leaving sloppy devotee in the dust.

There’s so much wrong with this assumption, too. We can’t trade a possible future turn of heart for bhakti now. Bhakti is not measured by time, of course, but it needs to be planted in the heart first. If it’s not there than fertile soil is still barren and cannot be compared to a growing bhakti creeper.

It is also false to assume that one person would make faster progress than another based on their external behavior. Bhakti does not depend on one’s karma, only on Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. It might be more difficult to practice for someone with a more sinful background but these things are relative, even in ISKCON acceptable standards of sādhana vary from zone to zone and temple to temple. Kṛṣṇa won’t be impressed by external following anyway and you can’t “overtake” someone simply because you know more and eat less.

There’s no “overtaking” in Kṛṣṇa consciousness anyway, it’s not a competition, a sign of “pakka devotee” is that he doesn’t want to be better than others in any aspect, it’s just pride talking, he knows not to listen to it.

Suppose everything above is clear and agreed on, where do these wrong assumptions come from? I think they are side effects of too much sattva. People get attached to it, that’s why the fascination with “pakka”, perfection. It seems naturally better, and it validates one’s own sattvic position, reflects one’s own sattvic values. Perhaps the real question is not about pakka jñānīs but about oneself comparing to sloppy devotees who are so not “pakka” but get lots of credit anyway, which seems unfair to someone with more sattva in their lives.

This is where I should not mention any names, this is the kind of fault that is hopefully absent in the devotee asking the question but we can find traces of it in ourselves when similar dilemmas come to our minds, too. We can easily find ourselves wondering whether measured perfection is better than sloppy spontaneity, there are lots accusations against non-pakka devotees in our debates, too.

We are always sure that our preferred way to preach or to practice is the best and we easily judge others for deviating from our standards, either into pakka or sloppy way. Ultimately, none of it matters if we consider what is good for Kṛṣṇa, and when such “good” is found we should see it as absolute so talk of “better” should not even arise, certainly not at the risk of offending anyone.

Now, if I could only purge the names from my own memory and completely remove all doubts and judgments…

Vanity thought #1129. Filling the vacancy

As I’ve been saying for a couple of days, the Lord might technically reside in our hearts but since practically He is invisible and imperceptible we might just as well behave as if He weren’t there. I mean if we can’t see Him, what difference does it make if we say He is in our heart or He is in the Holy Name, or in our right lung, or at the back of our head? When we locate Him we should be able to see Him, otherwise location has no meaning.

It doesn’t mean that there’s no point in praying, it just means that He could be everywhere. We can point a finger in the general area of our heart but we can’t point a finger at the location of the object of our prayers.

Another aspect of it is that if we can’t see Him then we are driven not by our attraction to Him but by the feeling of emptiness. I mean when Lord Caitanya saw Kṛṣṇa He was attracted by Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and when Kṛṣṇa disappeared from His vision He was trying to regain it. We don’t have that kind of experiences. Without ever seeing Kṛṣṇa we can’t be attracted to Him and we can’t miss something we have never experienced. Our motives are different.

On one hand we all feel something good and pleasant about the Lord and we can say that these feelings sustain our devotion but I’m a bit skeptical about this. First, we routinely mistake pleasure derived from our senses interacting with their objects as spiritual, and secondly, because these feelings don’t last and after a while get erased from our memories.

It is beneficial for a conditioned soul to have good memories about his interactions with Kṛṣṇa consciousness and these interactions and memories certainly do have a spiritual component to them but it’s mostly in the form of ajñāta sukṛti – we don’t really know the value of what we have, even after years of practice.

As spirit souls we always retain this ajñāta sukṛti and we always feel attracted to the Lord but we cannot perceive those things yet even when we think we do. They do not manifest through our bodies, senses, or minds. We can’t locate their origin, it’s a call of a soul we cannot perceive yet.

The more we practice, the more we feel the need to fill this vacancy in our hearts. We want to serve the Lord, we want to be useful to Him. That’s what drives us. Perks we get along the way are just that – perks, sweeteners, little nudges in the right direction. We should be grateful for them and pray that they keep coming but our real motivation should be intrinsic, independent of external stimuli. Even when we are not on that level yet we should understand this point at least theoretically and search for this innate devotion within. It’s there, it’s the nature of our souls, we just have to find it.

There’s one very important thing here I haven’t mentioned yet – if we don’t perceive the Lord within our hearts it doesn’t mean that we should try very hard to see Him. It’s a natural thought but it’s wrong, it reveals our selfish, materialistic thinking – the Lord is not our servant we can summon to appear before our eyes.

He is in our hearts not so that we can see Him there, He is so close so that He can see us, and He doesn’t have a problem with that. So, instead of trying to conjure Him in supposedly spiritual visions we should behave in such a way that the Lord likes what He sees already.

By His nature, the Supersoul is indifferent to the material activities of conditioned souls. He is friendly but He lets us do our thing. He doesn’t share in our triumphs or miseries. Sometimes He might have His “aww” moments but we are not His children learning to walk – He has seen us doing it a million times and, unlike us, He knows that it always ends in agony of death.

So, given this baseline of indifference, we should try to live our lives in such a way that He starts noticing. We got to make Him look at us, not the other way around. Our goal is not to see Him, our goal is for Him to notice us and like what He sees.

We know that the weakness of all other religious paths is that they treat God as their order supplier, either of daily bread or seventy virgins in heaven, but we ourselves are not that different, except we want Him to be our spiritual order supplier. We want to see Him – He must appear. We want bliss – He must provide it. We want to be in Goloka – He must take us there.

Nope, we should not fill the vacancy in our hearts with these gifts from God but rather with bhakti. Bhakti, devotion is the natural quality of the spirit soul, not tokens of appreciation from the Lord. We feel empty because we don’t have bhakti, not because the Lord isn’t there.

We should not chant so that we can finally see Kṛṣṇa but so that He appreciates us doing so. If He wants to show Himself or not is up to Him, bhakti is independent of rewards like that.

Perhaps here it would be better to say that we all get what we want. Those who want to see the Lord get to see Him. Those who want to serve devotees get to serve them. And those who want to play the victim card and pretend they have been abandoned get their wish fulfilled, too. It doesn’t really matter what we want, we can’t compare success of one devotee with success of another. What’s important is that we keep trying to please Kṛṣṇa regardless.

There’s one practical application in realizing that Kṛṣṇa is not the order supplier I want to mention – we are told to pray when we get in trouble and that Kṛṣṇa would always come to help. If we think Kṛṣṇa is there to serve us we expect this help to come in materially, or rather materialistically tangible form – it should make US feel better.

Say we get an attack of lust, we are told to chant very loudly, we do that, and we expect that lust will be gone when we finish. I’m afraid this is not the right approach – we treat chanting as means to an end, as a link in a chain of reactions. It means we treat it as a material activity, which is an offense.

What is better, I propose, is that lust disappears when we chant. What happens when we finish is anybody’s guess and is largely irrelevant. Chanting isn’t an activity that brings results afterwards, it’s rather a means and the goal in itself – when we chant we are protected, when we stop we are back in the hands of karma.

This brings me back to the same point – we should not treat devotional service as an activity that brings results, be they material or spiritual, it’s an activity that is full and complete in itself, whatever happens next will most likely to be a distraction.

Once again – the emptiness in our hearts is absence of devotion, not absence of the Lord. We can’t fill it by summoning Kṛṣṇa, only be developing bhakti.

Vanity thought #1040. Getting ahead

of ourselves is unbelievably easy in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We want to progress, we want to become better devotees, we have high standards set by our ācāryas to raise ourselves up to, it’s all within our reach, so it’s easy for us to think that we are almost there ourselves.

There’s a couple of verses in Uddhava Gīta that might give us even more encouragement (SB.11.20.27-28):

    Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities.

There’s a very long purport here, too (by Eleventh’ Canto standards) that elaborates on the position of such devotees and their attitude towards their remaining material desires. It appears that residual attachments don’t matter, they are just leftovers no one is interested in but got stuck with anyway.

A devotee keeps on practicing his devotional service despite such desires still being present. He insulates himself from these desires and from lamentation that arises from occasionally giving in. He knows that there’s no better way of purifying himself than keeping up with his service so sitting there and sulking is not an option.

A devotee also knows that stopping these material reactions is beyond his powers and it can only be done by the grace of the Lord. He keeps firm faith in the Lord and accepts the possibility that the Lord might take His sweet time removing them.

None of it affects his service and so we can say that he achieved the stage of niṣṭhā. We can say that his devotion is pure and his external, material behavior doesn’t really matter.

We have a million devotees like that.

What’s more – these devotees clearly have a great taste for their service. They follow sādhana, they carry out the orders of their gurus, they associate with other vaiṣṇavas, and they LIKE it. It’s almost like rati or ruci – preliminary stages of bhāva. They are practically pure. They are constantly engaged in Lord’s service, they are legit.

If one looks at Sanskrit terms, they are engaged in sādhu saṅga, they are engaged in bhajana kriya, they actively work on their anartha nivṛtti – by all symptoms, they are on the platform of niṣṭhā.

Isn’t it just great? Ruci follows right behind, and that is practically bhāva, they have nearly made it.

What’s most encouraging about it is that they haven’t done anything unusual – just followed the program set for us by Śrila Prabhupāda, everyone can do it.

They might not look like much by Vṛṇdāvana standards – they are not bābājīs, they do not engage in incessant rasa kathā, they are not particularly renounced, they do not wail during their kīrtans and they generally not famous as great devotees, but that is even better. They are humble servants of the Supreme Lord and His devotees, they do not want any recognition for themselves, their hearts are pure, and because they do not boast about their spiritual achievements we can suspect that they have a fair share of spiritual happiness to keep them going in such a detached manner.

It’s a path open to all of us and it’s a path successfully traversed by many many devotees right before our eyes. We are nearly there, too.

Except we all are getting ahead of ourselves.

These devotees, who I just proved are on the level of niṣṭha, are actually total beginners.

It’s not niṣṭha, it’s simply śraddhā, preliminary faith required to start the process of devotional service. It has nothing to do with ruci and anartha nivṛṭti is still miles ahead, as well as sādhu saṅga and bhajana kriyā. It’s nothing.

Presence of the material desires that I mentioned at the start is the proof that they are nowhere near those exalted stages. Pure devotees do not have any material desires, and the ones described in the Bhāgavatam verse I quoted earlier are not pure yet, they are only beginners, it says so in the purport, it’s what it starts with:

    The beginning stage of pure devotional service is described here by the Lord.

What I described earlier as niṣṭhā is only a firm faith that by following this process they will eventually achieve success. That by following sādhana and associating with devotees they will make progress, in the future.

The progress hasn’t happened yet. When we say that they do no mind waiting until the Lord cleanses their hearts and relieves them from effects of material desires we say that they have faith that it will eventually happen, yet until the desires are there they cannot be accepted as pure, which niṣṭhā is practically is.

It might sound disappointing – decades of service, millions if not billions of names chanted, at the ripe stage of their lives, and they are only the beginners. What hope is there for us? Most of us can’t even do that – rise of maṅgala-ārati, listen to Bhagavatam classes, engage in deity service or preaching, being totally dependent on the Lord in the form of our society.What hope is there for us?

And what of our taste in devotional service? Is it real? Is their taste real? Or is it just a material compatibility with all things Indian – food, music, culture, colors or clothes? Some are natural at it, others were simply not born to like Indian culture. If this attraction is spiritual, everyone can develop it. If it’s material, there’s no point in making ourselves like Indians.

Another downside of this realization is that if we are only the beginners we don’t really have to judge ourselves by advanced standards. What is considered a big fail for niṣṭha is nothing for kaniṣṭha.

That’s another thing we’ll have to get used to – being called kaniṣṭhas. We don’t like it, we defend fellow devotees labeled like that with vigor and all kinds of arguments. What if they really are? What if we really are nothing but kaniṣṭhas?

It’s perfectly okay to accept ourselves as being so lowly but if we say that our ISKCON gurus are on that level, too, it would be suicidal for our society.

Or maybe it won’t.

However low level we have achieved, it’s real and it’s ours. There’s no better way and those who claim to be higher or strive to be higher are only fooling themselves because by all objective criteria they are no better than our “kaniṣṭhas”. They can claim anything they want, the results are here for all to see – they never walk their talk. Same as us, really, but while we excuse our material desires by verses from Bhāgavatam, they say that their material desires are not even material and they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Another upside of this realization is that we don’t have to worry about our lack of taste and suspect that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not exactly what was promised – we haven’t even approached Kṛṣṇa consciousness yet, we are still licking the bottle from the outside. Real bhakti will come in due course of time and it will be nothing like shadows of emotions we experience now.

Sex, for one thing, will not even dare to enter our minds then. Now it’s so brazen that it allows itself to occasionally leave because it knows we will welcome it back with both arms when it returns.

It’s not so bad to be lowly and “unadvanced”, and because it’s the reality we’d be better off accepting our position and learning to deal with it rather than try to maintain the appearance of maturity. Lying never helps anyone, especially lying to oneself