Life (at least on planet Earth) is bound by certain conditions that we have collectively agreed, as a society, to abide by. One that kinda sucks, is the idea of requiring money to survive . While we can easily talk about how good and useful it is to have for commerce, we can just as easily talk about how bad it is to greed over. In either case! The condition prevails and you will have a challenging time figuring out what to do about it all, as you grow into more experience of just how limited we are in this realm.
Recently, I made the decision to find a job. This is a very unusual thing for me to do, as most of my life has been about avoiding the soul-crushing reality of working for higher management within a consistent 8 hour-5 day a week cycle. This is highlighted enthusiastically by one of my first writings:
For many people who learn about money or entrepreneurship, this is the very thing that they would be digging an escape tunnel to avoid. It is probably the central problem of our society that eventually manifests outward as our strained mental confusion and smoldering hot frustration which often leads towards some kind of violent egotistical backlash, as we vent to a world that we arrogantly feel is always against us. It is a condition that is as ancient as the myth of Sisyphus, who is doomed to repeatedly move a boulder up a mountain, or the modern day equivalent known as “wage slavery” or the “rat race.”
Why would anyone desire this?
Perhaps, we can look towards mystical philosophy to answer this. As most of the time I begin my blogs with a single line: “In my quest for more enlightenment…”. This opening line is only for the purpose of making me feel good about my life. These words somehow magically make me feel that perhaps, as an individual, I will reach a state of being where I only desire nothing except for what is immediately occurring in the moment. A state of being that, logically speaking, would never suffer and always know that it is exactly where it needs to be in every moment. Placing to the side my sloppy, linear way of talking about enlightenment (as a projected self of many wants and needs) it has often appeared, to me, that this frequency or reality of mind-body autonomy, requires an immense amount of awareness and necessary experience. Paradoxically, it may only require that one has a simple insight. In both cases, the reality for the individual becomes easier, as a result of their focus on harmonizing all aspects of life.
Like this, anything one does, becomes a spiritual endeavor for more compassion and bliss towards the self and all they interact with.
Entering the Rat Race
For some of you, I wouldn’t suggest listening to anything I am about to write. Because it seems that for the majority of people now, a slight distaste for the rat race would be more wise — thus moving towards quitting your job in favor of either one that treats their workers with respect (and is therefore probably treating the planet better) or by way of making a living through self-employment and growing one’s own type of co-op business. Both exceedingly rare situations to come by.
However, for anyone like myself (living with their Mom, drenched in debt and a low credit score), it is probably best to begin the grind with a more correct mindset.
Keep Compassion In Mind!
A recent census showed that a third of young adults live with their parents. This is probably due to how challenging life has become for our generation. Since even working full time at most entry level jobs, is not enough to even get approved for most one bedroom apartments.
Behind our obvious material situation is a deeper situation in our unwillingness to serve others. Every job demands a profound energy of service in order to actually enjoy the work that is being performed. So if you see that the company you work for is delivering services that are excessively damaging either the health of people (or the eco-system of the planet), then it would be impossible to feel the higher bliss of serving humanity by working that particular job.
In my life, I found myself wrought with cynicism about our society. It is very easy to have this type of attitude too, since there is definitely a lot of unspoken corruption that takes place all the time. Money that is spent on weapons of war, instead of affordable housing, transportation or health care. All of this made me believe in outlandish notions that I would be somehow “saved” in the future, so long as I kept a positive mindset and did enough meditation or whatever. Yet now, I see that life on Earth is a lot of work and that is sorta the spiritual point in incarnating here. But, the art of our conscious evolution is to make that work not seem so hard. Either physically, through reform or technology, or non-physically, through education of a more correct science in mind and body.
Shifting My Focus
As my father passed, I spent many years living with my Mom (who kindly paid a lot of my expenses). This freedom allowed me to avoid a lot of busy schedules that are demanded by most people that live in the daily world. It also allowed me to garner a lot of knowledge that I was not taught in schools. Though fundamentally, I realized that health was the most important knowledge of all. Seeing as how most of the time we despise life is because we feel terrible each day we wake up. I found this is mostly due to the way we eat and our lack of proper exercise, meditation and breath.
This is where I found myself just attempting for more enlightenment by just being. I would travel to far away places and just walk around. I would read books and leisurely create art in the laziest way possible. I always felt I was on the verge of something and often deluded myself into thinking I was already there. Undoubtedly, I felt an immense amount of bliss during my more lucky moments in meditation. I was taken to heights I never believed were possible to experience so viscerally, and often had moments of “Everything being perfect in the world”. The lemon twist to this all, was that I was often feeling the horror of the human condition. The idea that were are all bound to the daily work cycle, to schedules, and to the various beliefs and opinions people had about the world, which are enforced as law. This allowed me to dream up completely unrealistic hellish scenarios where I felt as though I would be locked up in an eternity of torture.
Then one day, I was re-listening to a lecture by Ram Dass, where he mentioned the monkey-god archetype of Hanuman. Wherein it is seen, that greater than God, is God’s servant. This quote I likely heard before, but now I had enough experience to grasp it more profoundly. For certainly, in all my meandering, I became bored with just living as I pleased. I desired to help people out in a more physical way. In a way, where they could actually believe that I am giving them something they need. For it seemed that in all the other projects I made, it was something that was only a fleeting interest to people. They seemed to enjoy my video games or writings somewhat, but it didn’t really move anyone in a profound way. Instead, I felt that people just needed someone to help out in a more physical way.
So now I have a job as a custodian for a school. It isn’t much, and is often perceived as a very undesirable job for anyone to have, but I have found Zen in it. Now that I see work as a service to humanity, I can truly test my spiritual capacity in the world. It is more of a challenge to do so, but it is a necessary challenge for me to move beyond the world (if that is even possible in this incarnation). All the while, I still have the energy to create writings and video games on the side! It is a blessed position for me to be in only because I have learned how to avoid most headaches, pain and general tiredness that is ubiquitous for people who have a job. Though, of course, there will always be a little bit of that, it now seems far more bearable to endure. Mainly, because I see how much more challenging it is to maintain meditation, while working.
Why I Finally Decided To Enter The Rat Race
The integration of these opposites actually makes me excited to work everyday. How well can I maintain a blissful meditation while I work or will I falter and mess up? This constant test allows me to enjoy the grind far more than when I attempted to do so in the past. Though, my real goal is always to find a way to exit the rat race. This isn’t something that I can think about. I see that for me, exiting the rat race can only be done when society has approved of my creative work to the extent that they grant me value for it. In this way, I will always be looking for the exit, I just don’t know when I will find it. In not knowing, I see that it is best to stay present, lest I fall into doubt. Which obviously will make my job a miserable affair.
Now, this isn’t meant to be a positive troupe for capitalism, but it is a way for anyone to find the necessary energy to keep moving forward in life. Inevitably, we will all reach towards a more preferable reality by slowly pouring compassionate water on the scuzzy obsidian stone of our own limitations.