A Cop out is an idiom meaning to avoid taking responsibility for an action or to avoid fulfilling a duty.
It's funny how we humans can take wisdom and instead of using it to our advantage we turn around and use it to continue down the path to self destruction or at least distraction. Everyone of the following statements are widely used and many times perfectly legitimately, honestly, meaningfully and sincerely. Yet, other times, they are nothing but a cop out.
Here are my favorites:
"I am listening to my body"
If you are in a yoga class and your body is straining and screaming at you to back off, you better be listening. If you are sick and need to lie down to rest - you should be listening. But if you are reaching for the fatty burger or the 7th glass of wine today, telling people, you are a listening to your body and you feed it what it needs.....really? If you are zonked out in front of the TV for hours and for no particular reason, perhaps you are not tired and listening to your body, perhaps you are just being lazy.
"It doesn't matter after all. Everything around is just an illusion."
Really? Is this what you are going to tell the IRS when they come over to audit you? Or to your kids who are growing up without your guidance, attention and proper care? Or the electrical company when they disconnect your electricity for not paying your bill? A person who's had the actual experience of the emptiness of the form around us also understands the meaning of "emptiness is form". And if you don't understand this sentence, than you are definitely using this statement as a cop out. Will you say that everything around us is just an illusion if your doctor just told you that you have a horrible, incurable disease which will cause you great suffering for many years to come?
"I am following my path."
Are you following the path you should be following? Or just the path you happened to be on right now and you don't want any one to question you. Is your path just a road to self gratification, or an actually meaningful experience, contributing to growth and the greatest good?
"I have to do things my way. This is my process."
Is your process (when it refers to personal growth) getting you stuck in the past and distracting you from what is actually occurring in this moment? Is your process actually helping you give up the stories and the excuses of why you are as you are right now or is it just "bitching rights" but leads to no actual change? What exactly does it mean "my process" and "my way?" Or perhaps you are using this one to indicate that you rather struggle trying to do things your way than take the advise of someone who's been there or suggesting to you how to do things and save time or get better results - whether for personal growth or just doing things.
"I am a spiritual person."
I met one of those today. She was saying it as if being "spiritual" is like a hat you wear or a political affiliation. Spiritual people normally do not call themselves spiritual. Others do it for them. Also, spiritual people do not make a separation between "spiritual things" and "regular life things" because if you are really spiritual, you see every things as spiritual and meaningful. Just naturally. Finally, if you are using "spiritual" to somehow mean "better than"....you know what i am going to say to that!
"We are all one!"
Great! Give me your money! Remember this one next time your next door neighbor, or your spouse, or you parent annoys the Bjesus out of you. If you have never actually had the experience of oneness, than you should really modify your statement to say - we are all interdependent, or something to that effect. Oneness is not just about peace and love and rock an roll, but don't touch my stuff. Oneness is about realizing universal compassion and your responsibility to fulfill your part for the benefit of the whole (which includes you too, by the way).
There are other ones too, but it's past my bed time so, i am starting to forget things a little. Not to worry, since we are all one, and this is just an illusion after all, it's just my process as a spiritual person to listen to my body and say Namaste and good night.