Monday, August 21, 2017

It is all about the ride

We can only escape from the world by outgrowing the world. Death may take man out of the world but only wisdom can take the world out of the man. As long as the human being is obsessed by worldliness, he will suffer from the karmic consequences of false allegiances. When, however, worldliness is transmuted into spiritual integrity he is free, even though he still dwells physically among worldly things.
(Manly P. Hall)

In the investment business I am in there are few heroes. The ones who spectacularly beat their benchmarks and their competition over the decades are the exceptions and merely there to show the rest the mission impossible. Most forget that for every success story there are hundreds of people and processes that tried hard but eventually failed. I have realized after years of trying my best as a financial strategist that the success or failure of my endeavor is out of my hands. All I can do is to build the best investment process there is and leave the rest in the capable hands of a higher authority.

We spiritual travelers are here for the ride. We are here to let go. What my stressful - but also exhilarating - job taught me is that everything somehow just is. People win, people lose; they stumble, catch themselves and they charge ahead before they stumble again. They sometimes look smart and occasionally they look incredibly stupid. I have stopped counting how often I got hammered sticking my neck out. Investment cases I would have bet my house on completely disintegrated by forces that were simply over my head. The reason why I am still around is only because I also got a few breaks when I succeeded despite myself. I can promise you, the day when I walk out of this building I shall be so done with all this competing and strategizing stuff for good.

The point of our spiritual path is not to 'succeed'; the point is to get stuff out of our system. Sure, when we fail the resentment will stay with us. On the other side of the coin, though, success breeds arrogance. For us spiritual travelers too much winning is also not good. No, our mission is just to get the stuff completely out of our system. No hard feelings and no lingering arrogance. Just done with. Rumor has it that when one of our outgoing CEOs left the building on his last day of work he jumped into the air full of joy and excitement when he thought that no-one was watching. That's the way to go!

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