“I am loyal to the throne. Who are you loyal to?”
It is interesting that we can watch a two-plus hour movie (during a polar vortex shut-in) filled with action, and the one fragment that adheres to us, days later. In the movie “Black Panther”, the question above was asked by Okoye (the General) of Nakia (the future Queen), in the moments after there is upheaval in the country of Wakanda.
I thought about the question that evening, and it kept returning to my brain box for a few days. I am still thinking about it. Let us begin at the beginning. What is loyalty? One definition of loyalty is a strong feeling of support of allegiance. The other synonyms are faithfulness, obedience, adherence, devotion and the like. It would seem that loyalty would be a good quality or virtue to develop in our character, yes?
Before we answer the original question (who are we loyal to?), maybe we can reflect on some related questions. Where does our sense of loyalty come from? What qualities in others incite, grow and sustain loyalty within us? What makes our loyalties wax and wane over time? Have you experienced real-world examples of long-term, unwavering, even permanent loyalty in your life? If so, how did such examples of loyalty influence you, your life?
Now that we have put the questions out upfront, we can reflect on them and probe for the answers. If we choose not to probe, we can cast the questions out like seeds, and wait for the answers to bloom in their own time. Either way, if we remain loyal to the process of asking, and then provide space and time for the answers to be received by us, the process has a chance of working. In this increasingly hurried world, we can perhaps reflect on the question – how loyal are we to the process of receiving (answers)?
But I digress a bit. As I asked myself some of the questions about loyalty, one common answer that seemed to emerge was that a lot of our loyalties, allegiances, adherences, even devotions – are transitional and transient in nature. Time and space and relationships change as we transit through life, and so do our loyalties. Even the long-term loyalties of satellites (moons) to planets are constantly changing (albeit ever so slightly) over time. (Aside: what examples of ‘deep loyalty’ may Mother Nature reveal to us?) So what chance do we mere mortals, of finite life-spans, have of developing and honoring permanent loyalty?
Maybe we need to look beyond, if we are to experience a permanent sense of loyalty. Our physical frames of existence and our actions within them, bound as they are by time, space and causation, are bound by impermanence. Hence, the resulting loyalties are (mostly) impermanent. What if we were to go beyond the physical, and into the spiritual domain? If we were to become and be meditative, examine our heartspace and feel our heartsense, what deeper loyalties may be revealed in That light?
Before she asked that question of Nakia, Okoye actually said… “I am loyal to the throne, no matter who sits on it“. If we ask the same question of our heart, what will be the reply? Who sits on our heart’s throne? Who are we really loyal to? Does that relationship have a nature of permanence?
On behalf of the #SpiritChat community, I invite you to join us for a conversation on this topic – Sunday, February 3 at 9amET / 730pm India. We would love to know – who sits on your heart’s throne? Namaste.
Postscript: Fragments of a poem, that keep coming, as answers to the question… if you can think of additions, please share in the comments… Namaste…
There may be be love without cause,
But what is the nature, of cause without love?
There may be clouds without rain,
With loud refrain…
But what is the worth, of rain without clouds?
There may be heat without light,
Warming the night…
But have we felt the love, of light without heat?
There can be sight without vision,
A heart’s decision…
But can there be vision without sight?
– A Traveler’s Loyalty