Friday, July 25, 2014

The Magnificent Obsession

Have you ever talked to someone who obsesses about money? Everything that comes his way is analyzed from the perspective of what is in it for him. Or have you ever met someone who wants to climb the professional ladder at any cost? Every colleague who comes his way is either for or against him. At best you would call driven people like that egoistic; in the extreme you would conclude that they are in fact insane. They will trample on love left, right and center, if they have to, in order to get what they want.

Every obsession is tunnel vision - you go after what is meaningful to you at the exclusion of everything else. It turns out that you are on a road towards your goal that becomes self-fulfilling. Money begets money, power begets power and lust begets lust. Consider this psychological experiment. People where primed with money symbols, like seeing dollar signs on a TV screen, or having Monopoly money lying on a coffee table in the background. Afterwards the experimenter went into the room and "accidentally" dropped pencils. It turned out that the people who were primed by money symbols were less helpful in picking them up compared to those who weren't.

Obsession is a road towards your destination. This begs the question, if you are a spiritual traveler, can you be on a road towards God? Can one in fact have a tunnel vision for God? Just based on our observations, a spiritual path leads you out of the tunnel instead - traveling the Tao is about opening up to everything that comes your way. A spiritual vision lets you see curves where you perceived edges before; it takes judgement out of contested issues, and idiosyncratic ego symbols transform into universally accepted expressions of love.

The magnificent obsession is the love with what is; a realization that everything matters, yet nothing does. Spiritual travelers are like artists who look at the magnificent painting called life and get the gist out of every situation: love or a cry for love.The magnificent obsession is open to everyone at any time. Let go of what clutters your mind for but a moment and She will take you in!

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