Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Somewhere in between a Robot and a Genius

I came across an astute personality development scale that was developed by Kazimierz Dabrowski. It argues that there are essentially two types of people, the "robot" who just follows the dictates of his subconscious and societal programming, and then there is the person on the other side of the spectrum who is free of all that programming; the rebel, the genius or the revolutionary who only follows her own inner VOICE, with little regard for what everybody else thinks about it. In a way, both of these types don't really know fear; the "robot" would never deviate from the norm while the genius doesn't care about the norm. Everyone else is caught in an existential struggle between these two extremes. Deviating from the norm is scary, yet there is a VOICE inside that encourages us to do so.

A spiritual path gets you to the independent stage. It doesn't mean that you have to become a genius or an entrepreneur, but it does imply that you become a revolutionary in the sense that you will sometimes see a path that no-one else appears to notice. Along a spiritual path you do what you hear inside, or see outside. The "robots" will never experience what we do, but every "robot" has the choice to awake from the slumber. The door is wide open, and everyone eventually stumbles on a spiritual invite to let go of the old. Yet, not everyone has the guts and determination to follow through. I have no clue whether we will will always be a fringe group or whether the model of "connected uniqueness" will soon become mainstream. Let a higher authority worry about that. For us the motto has to be, let's assist one traveler at a time. We are assisting ourSELF that way.

A word on education as well. We treat our children like "robots" when it comes to learning. We reward the ones who swallow up everything like it is the gospel and we pick fights with everyone who is a little out of the ordinary; those who cannot sit still, those who cannot spell perfectly, or those who get to the solution of a mathematical problem in a way that was not taught in class. Millions of parents put enormous psychological pressure on their kids to get one of the 2000 open Harvard spots. Education doesn't work that way. You know that you educate well if you learn at least as much from your child as you teach her. 

Interestingly, in the workspace, things seem to change a bit. Gone are the days were the jobs to get were being part of big global enterprises or bureaucracies where everybody was encouraged to think and act the same. One, these jobs are disappearing, and second, everyone awakens to the fact that we need entrepreneurial skills and new perspective to get anywhere. So there is actually hope that many of us will be encouraged to leave the way of the trodden path behind. It is at these inflection points when people discover spirituality as well. 

I can resonate so well with this theory of personal development because in my job as a financial strategist I am constantly encouraged to see the scary road that no one traveled before. It gives the most upside when it turns out right, but it is often scary just because you have to be really wrong on occasions when you see something that no-one else does. Maybe my spiritual journey started because I had that existential crisis, I don't know. What my experience tells me though, you can relax about pretty much everything life brings your way if you aspire to be a spiritual traveler. When the going is good, GOD is walking with us, and if the going is tough, GOD is waiting for us!

One final point about fear. I hate this feeling, yet I am also getting used to it. Perhaps you have heard the motto, "Feel the fear and do it anyway!" At work I have formed the habit that as long as I don't fear an action, I also don't do it because it is simply not worth my while. I have no idea what will happen when I graduate to my spiritual endeavor instead. Maybe I live happily ever after, or maybe the journey of fear and happiness stays exactly the same. I only aspire one thing, I want to be connected to this magnificent FORCE that so few appear to be able to see every step of the WAY. Will you join us?

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