Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's Your Passion?

Some of you might have read the Passion Test, a book that makes the case for following your passions and living your dream day by day. I live by that philosophy, but I wonder how we can figure out which passions lead us to our destiny and which may lead us astray from our Spiritual Path. Just because a holy book or a guru tells you something shouldn't be done, doesn't mean it is wrong for you. Conversely, just because something feels good does not mean it is your destiny. As always, the choice is up to you and it is actually not quite as daunting as it seems. You can reevaluate your choice every day as you live your passion while following your spiritual intuition.

Take Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example. Had he believed that "you are not your body", most of us wouldn't have realized how much we can create the body we aspire. Similarly, Madonna might not live up to her name when it comes to spiritual self-development, yet her "express yourself" theme gave energy to millions of people. How can their chosen path not have been their well-deserved destiny.

The Spiritual Path in the end is about overcoming your ego, and all desires are more or less tainted by it. My approach is that if you can't beat your ego, let him work for you. Over the last year I have embraced my work with new vigor, despite the fact that my ego-drive for professional success is probably unabated. Essentially, I view my current job in the financial industry as a stepping stone for my next career as a spiritual writer and life consultant. I work on my writing skills, try to master my ways to connect and communicate. I even practice a few metaphysical tricks just to convince myself, and later others, that you can thrive professionally while putting your ego at bay. I don't think I had ever as much fun doing what I am doing than today.

1 comment:

poiesis hagakure said...

kudos to you. You are making the most of your position in life now, and have aspirations for the future. I have grown into a hodgepodge of spirituality but lately have heavily read from Buddhist writers. I have grown a great appreciation for the concept that "the universe unfolds exactly as it should." -Desiderata

I really appreciate the few things I've learned of Taoism, too. I would say that, thrown in the mix, is a lot of existentialism as well [ahem, Sexistentialism, as I am graciously indebted to these forums for teaching me as a word. oh right, putting my serious mask back on]. I was raised from birth in a strongly religious family. My younger brother and sister would argue with me as all brothers and sisters do, and we would preach moral imperatives and religious maxims to each other. ah, the vigor of youth in being RIGHT!

After a few years at college I left the family's religious class. I couldn't really articulate why I left. I knew it was right, for me, to stop attending... yet I loved [and still love] the members as people. They are some of the most caring and loving people in the world. I realized much later, and as a result of some of the things that they were directly teaching, that I was not attending the classes because I wanted to. I went there because I was use to it and because it was a community I slothfully identified with. I was not involved in my own spirituality. It was a motion I went through. It was a symptom of how I lead my life. I let others make most judgment calls and value decisions. I was not my own person but a spineless, fake person, wandering in a sea of principled and unprincipled living. In ending my attendance of the religious class, I was on the right path to starting to live more honestly with myself and eventually with others. Your word has to mean something to you before it can mean anything to another.

In this manner I have sought to grasp the existential reality--- the one I create, each day--- and to make it my own. Having previously defined every action in life, and answered every unanswerable question with the thoughts provided me by that religious class, the first year of life after leaving the religious class was exactly as Sartre's La Nausée is described on wikipedia: "all that he encounters in his everyday life is suffused with a pervasive, even horrible, taste — specifically, his freedom." Jean-Paul Sartre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Those answers were no longer provided simply for me. There were, as it appeared to me for the first time, some questions that seemed unanswerable, impertinent, or just plain out of touch. I was forced to abandon a lot of the religious methodologies of reasoning conflict in life, or of simply casting people to the side as 'ignorant.' Most religions utilize this concept---- all others are unworthy, ignorant.

Through the Celestine Prophecy, many books on buddhism & taoism, and the book the Essential Crazy Wisdom .... [a true delight, one rafiki from the lion king probably read] .... I've found for the first time something greater than existentialism in creating reality. The interconnectedness of everything and everyone is so apparent yet disregarded. This concept alone would bring much peace and understanding to the world, if there was one thing we all could take up as a practice for our minds, immediately.

This is my passion: to continually redefine and assess reality, to assess the various disconnects in the definitions of words and what those words point to in reality, to continually redefine and learn other flavors of the words I use and to expand my vocabulary, to learn others' realities and wisdoms in the beautiful moments that they slip out, and to empower others.

Although I have not focused on the term ego very much I can say quite strongly that my end result [of today's existence] would be the same if I had. The topic of interconnectedness it its infinite forms is humbling, to say the least.

You mention in the last paragraph your desire to be a spiritual writer and life consultant. You also mention your practicing writing, communicating, connecting with others all while pursuing your work with new vigor. You view your current job as a stepping stone to these jobs where you feel you can do healthy, productive work in improving peoples' lives and senses of spirituality. Where is the ego in this? Where is the unabated ego in making each moment productive, in denying yourself stagnancy and articulating your passions and takings steps towards them?

You also said in the last paragraph, "The Spiritual Path in the end is about overcoming your ego, and all desires are more or less tainted by it." Is your desire to help others on a spiritual path then tainted by ego? Or, is your desire to help others a moral, beautiful objection to the way people allow themselves to be stagnant?

I've already spent two hours in writing this :) but I feel compelled to bring up upsilamba. I love the word upsilamba, and I've written about it in the earlier posts on my blog. I feel your desire to help others is simply an effect of you listening to your inner, personal upsilamba. Don't stop .... get it get it .... :)
watching for poiesis is:

My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet. --John Cage