The Seeker of Peace


The Consequence of Boredom
April 29, 2009, 10:20 am
Filed under: God, World | Tags: , , , ,

Do enlightened people get bored? Jed McKenna, who claims enlightenment, spends much of his time playing video games. Why would he do that if he weren’t bored?

I certainly don’t claim to be enlightened, yet I certainly share Jed’s sense of boredom. When I closed my business a few months ago, I was so sick that I had very little energy to do much of anything. Now that I’m feeling much better, I feel as if I don’t have enough outlets for my energy.

In this void of activity, I felt a sudden compulsion to become a schoolteacher. Before I started my investment advisory business, I laid down several criteria that were important to me in a job. I had down such things as a flexible schedule, low stress, not having to work in committees, etc. Teaching as a career fails on every count. Yet, it somehow feels right to me.

In what seems an eternity ago, I wrote the fifth post of my blog. In that post I described how I felt an urge to start blogging. I worried whether that urge was valid guidance, or something from my ego, and decided that I could tell the difference by how easy it was.

Now, I have a similar concern. Is my compulsion to teach a form of divine or intuitive guidance? Or, is it my mind casting around for things to do to fill my day? The latter would be a particularly insidious trap. By choosing a career that meets none of my “rational” criteria, my mind could usher me into a situation where I have far too much mental noise for any spiritual practice.

So, I’m going to fall back on my previous insight, and see how easy it is. So far, it appears that it might be almost frighteningly so. I may qualify for a program that would let me take education courses in summer school, and be in a classroom this autumn. When the idea occurred to me last week, I had no idea that I might actually be in front of students four months later.

Now, I’m waiting for the university’s transcript evaluator to decide whether I have enough qualifying college courses in the relevant subject areas to qualify. If the answer comes back yes, then that would be a major indicator that this path could be easy.

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Waiting for God
November 4, 2008, 10:30 am
Filed under: God, World | Tags: , , , , ,

People who have followed A Course In Miracles, such as Marianne Williamson and Gerald Jampolsky, say that they get divine guidance on what to do. That sounds lovely. It would be great to give up the burden of making decisions and have an infallible guide lead me to happiness.

As I wrote a couple of days ago, every moment we make a decision: to judge what’s happening, or accept it. This still leaves a challenge, though, for as long as I’m still living in an illusory world. There are still decisions to make, no matter how illusory they might be. Do I stay in my job, or change careers? Should my family move to somewhere with a milder climate that would be easier on my illness? I know the questions apply to a dream world, but that hasn’t yet made them go away.

I know how to tell when I’m doing the right thing: it seems easy, as opposed to ice skating uphill. Unfortunately, I can only apply that criterion after the fact. Divine guidance has the definite benefit that it comes before a decision is necessary.

Of late, I’ve found myself deliberately deferring major decisions. I made a major career change just a few years ago, based on egocentric thinking. It seems silly to repeat the process, rather than wait for the point when I can receive divine guidance.

Of course, my ego argues that I could wait forever for such guidance. This is a great opportunity for my ego to play tricks. Maybe God doesn’t exist at all, and people like Williamson and Jampolsky are just delusional. Maybe that just have great intuition, and attribute it to God. Yeah, that’s it, and intuition is just another part of the ego, and if I want guidance I should spend time developing my ego’s intuitive skills, and…

This line of reasoning is what lets me know this is another ego trick. Yet, I can see this as a particular area of challenge for me. Relying on divine guidance is kind of a Catch-22: you don’t get the guidance until you relinquish ego control. Until you get divine guidance, there’s a temptation to rely on ego control.

No wonder so many people remain firmly in their ego’s grasp for their whole lives!



Ice Skating Uphill
October 11, 2008, 3:15 pm
Filed under: God | Tags: , ,

In 1996, I had a new DVD player and there were very few movies available on DVD. I decided to take a chance on the movie Blade. As Blade is about to vanquish the villain, Blade chides him by saying, “Some motherf*****s are always trying to ice skate uphill.” This line has stuck in my mind ever since.

Most of my life has felt like ice skating uphill, a struggle to make progress. For a long time I found writing software to be very easy. However, soon I set my sights on management roles of increasing responsibility, and creating code became a drag on my “progress.” Raising two daughters, both of whom were colicky and sleepless as babies, was truly exhausting. After I developed Crohn’s Disease, I was so sick that pretty much everything seemed hard.

However, writing this blog has been easy. Sure, this is only my fifth post, but for each of those five days I have had no doubt as to what my topic should be. The words for the posts come to me quickly. Writing has been like ice skating downhill, for a change. Which brings me to why I started blogging.

For a few weeks, I’ve been trying to get in touch with my intuition, Beingness, the voice of God, or pretty much anything other than my ego to help me make decisions. (I’m not sure there’s any difference between those sources of wisdom.) Then, a week ago, I had the urge to start a blog. It didn’t seem particularly apropos of anything, as I had mostly been looking for guidance on my career and physical health. My ego said it was a pointless thing to do, but the urge persisted. Just in case this was God guiding me, I followed the urge. I assume that the ease of blogging is a sign that I made the right decision.

I have to wonder: could all of life be this easy? If I can quiet my ego, and let God guide my decisions, will everything feel like a downhill glide? Just the possibility is sufficient motivation for me to redouble my efforts to move past my ego. I think I understand now much better Lesson 24 from A Course in Miracles, which says, “I do not perceive my own best interests.” I don’t – my ego has had me always trying to ice skate uphill.

I don’t know what, if anything, will come of this blog. But I guess that’s part of the point of moving beyond the ego: I need to trust that the guidance that comes from beyond my ego does so for a reason.

I’ve had a lot of fear around the idea of trusting “external” guidance. However, now I have a very objective way to know whether I’m doing the right things. If I am, it’ll feel like ice skating downhill, instead of uphill.