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Insecurity, or Isn’t It Funny That We’re All Here?

Varanasi Traffic
Episode No. 102

Shambhavi examines how insecurity functions and offers ways to drop this fixation. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.

First Words from Podcast

I was reading some Chogyam Trungpa today, and I realized—or re-realized—that there are some things that teachers of our era have to talk about with people in this culture that they really didn’t have to talk about if they were teaching back in the original countries these traditions came from. And certainly Trungpa was one of the people who came up with some of the most creative and culturally appropriate innovations to try to reach students in the United States. One of the things that I often have to talk about is something called insecurity.

One imagines that back in the day—you know, wherever, 8th century Kashmir—somebody might have said, “Oh! I’m nervous about something.” Or “I’m worried I can’t do something. I’m not skilled enough to accomplish some task or another.” But I don’t think they sat around thinking about how insecure they were and thinking they had a psychological problem. So-and-so is nervous, it was a very literal matter of fact. It wasn’t all this insular problematizing of this inner self. The psychologized inner self really didn’t exist as a narrative, so people couldn’t embody it. Lucky for them!

When we think of insecurity, the number one stoker of the fire of insecurity is measuring yourself against others. And maybe not even against specific others, but against some paradigm you hold, some concept you hold about what you should be, how you should be, who you want to be, or who you want others to think you are—and then finding yourself falling short, or ricocheting back and forth between feeling that you are superior and feeling that you are really terrible. So that causes depression, that kind of ricocheting.