Working for Ego, for Spirit or for the sake of the work itself? What’s the Motivation for what you are doing daily?

Busy as a Bee? What's the Motivation?
Busy as the Bees in this Photo? What’s the Motivation?

Working for Ego or Spirit – What’s the Motivation?

Maybe you do this; like I do this – or you don’t.  Do what?  Well, sometimes not what you ‘think’ you should do.  And sometimes we wonder if what we have a plan to do will really make any difference.  I think it’s about the motivation or the reason we do what we do.  That’s what’s what we should examine or look at.   I’ve noticed how people can be uptight and workaholic in their nature and announce or pronounce that they are accomplishing some great task or project and they are too busily involved with this to be distracted from it.  That kind of focus is good and we need that once in a while.  I know how to do that too—been there, done that.  These days, I’m looking at my motivation for everything and that comes along with part of the contemplations involved on my spiritual path.

I question my reason  for doing whatever it is I’ve plans to do and if the motivation to do it isn’t in alignment with my “path” (to use an easy word), then it’s a bit harder to dive in with passion.

I know how it is to be as busy as a bee (see image of honey bees at work above) and also how it is not to be so.  Sometimes I come up with issues either way—the busy bee syndrome can turn into either escapism OR it becomes one huge attachment.  And we know (or at least I do, first hand) what happens with attachments—something’s got to give in order to loosen our grip and that isn’t always pretty.  Best not to go there in the first place!

When you’re younger and with family responsibilities, your motivation is pretty clear, easy, altruistic and necessary–to put food on the table and clothes on the children.  It gets a bit more complicated as you get older and those types of motivations are…. well, no longer motivating. Well, they are and they aren’t–we do get weary of survival needs motivating us and we really want to get past it or be more inspired.

Personally, I’ve been re-inspired by the Buddhist teachings called “The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva”–completely.  I’m going to start blogging about those!  Talk about working with one’s faults and evolving–totally!  I can see the potential and benefit for personal spiritual alignment and then sharing the works with others may be helpful; but the motivation is… well, its not the same as other things in my life.

Recently I read a teaching in which the point had to do with doing the work because we all have some sort of function here and do the work for the sake of the work itself—lose the attachment to the idea of its importance or your “standing”  in relation to it.  In other words, get the ego out.

That sort of squares with these concepts of this life being an illusion or dream-reality and those notions do filter-in and merge with the idea what I do and don’t do in daily life on a daily basis.

Of course, I am not talking about doing my psychic reading work here—for that is clearly in alignment with all my personal spiritual ideals regarding compassion and expanded consciousness, etc.  I’m more or less referring to my work in composing an astrology course.

I like the idea of simply ‘going with’ this concept that  “we all have a function here, so function” –but don’t get attached to the importance of your  function and don’t engage in the task thinking that you are going to create some type of particular outcome.  And certainly don’t do it because you are trying to be busy as a bee in order to appear important to others or because it’s another way of escaping from contemplating your life.  See what I mean?

Have you ever been right on the edge with life?  Maybe even had one of those close to (if not outright) near death experiences or perhaps even been very sick for a day or two.  Almost everybody has had that last experience and can relate.  You know how everything in life sort of fades away and you seem to be hanging on by each breath or something?   Or maybe there was a close call in your car in traffic or the airplane you were in caught an air pocket during a rough weather patch and you felt the fall of the plane.  How important is your project or work then, eh?  What is it that ‘really’ matters?

I have been struggling with the right motivation in writing the astrology class.  My beginning purpose was to put something down for my grandson and niece—to explain astrology for the beginner in my own way, writing the steps of importance as they seem clear to me.  Like with the psychic class, the motivation is to write it out in a way that I wish I could have learned it.

I read a blog post from an Internet Buddhist Teacher who wrote out about his work something that I felt about the psychic class that I wrote.  Let’s see, how did he say it?   Here we go.  He wrote:  “There was no internet in those days so if you wanted to get the answer to a question; you had to physically hunt out someone who had the answer.”  He also wrote: “I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have a resource like this site when I was starting out. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to do it.”  That’s exactly how I felt about the psychic class when I wrote it.  I remember driving long distances and spending many hours with other psychics in classes on Sunday afternoons and attending (at great expense of money and time) many seminars and classes—simply because those were the only sources available pre-google.

My motivation these days is to do the work (of the astrology class) using the right motivation.  I sat here for a moment trying to remember which book mentioned the attitude and motivation toward work that jumped out at me and sparked something within me.  Which book was that?  Just as if in a dream, a moment ago I got up and walked right to it then flipped a few pages and there it was.  It’s a book  on talks with the famous sage Nisargadatta and the subject was work and previous to that about being dissolved by The Supreme which creates perfect balance in all things which dissolves you and thus reasserts your true being.  When asked how this works in daily life, Nisargadatta said, “The daily life is a life of action.  Whether you like it or not, you must function. “

That last line reminds me of that one theme in the move THE MATRIX.  It was about programs that are written for everything that functions in the matrix—a program even for the birds in the park, a program for everything to function.

Anyway, he goes on after stating that everyone must function.  “Whatever you do for your own sake accumulates and becomes explosive—one day it goes off and plays havoc with you and your world.  When you deceive yourself that you work for the good of all, it makes matters worse, for you should not be guided by your own ideas of what is good for others.  A man who claims to know what is good for others is dangerous.”

On a gut level I really get that last line—it’s a karma thing of course.

So then the question was asked about how a person is supposed to work then.  What’s the right attitude and the right motivation? And his answer was, “Neither for yourself nor for others, but for the work’s own sake.  A thing worth doing is its own purpose and meaning.  Make nothing a means to something else.  Bind not.  The Divine Intelligence (God) does not create one thing to serve another.  Each is made for its own sake.  Because it is made for itself, it does not interfere.”

I’ve been thinking about that and as I struggle with the right motivation for my astrology writing project work, I also came across this this morning in my email from www.tut.com .   I like these short pithy sentence or two’s and sometimes they resonate and sometimes not; however today’s did when factored in with all else.  Here’s what it said:

Judging yourself for what you haven’t yet accomplished, Joy, is like finding fault with a lion because it can’t fly, a bird because it can’t swim, or tree because it can’t leave… well, you know what I mean.

Whop,
The Universe

There’s some peace in that and with my self-coaching about self-acceptance and my underlying and core belief that all things come together in divine timing!

And now let me gather up the right motivation and keep my function in mind and let the work do the work for the work while my fingers do the typing—translation:  back to writing the astrology course letting pure being emerge.

Non-Self and Illusion of Emotion – How to Hold Your Horses and Not Get Pulled In

 The Illusion of Emotion Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In

Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In
“Hold Your Horses” and Don’t Get Pulled In

On the subject matter of non-self, consciousness, awareness, spiritual awakenings and psychic energy, I recently posted this Nisargadatta quote on Facebook:

“On what we think as REAL taking your idea of yourself for example: “You cling to personality, but you are conscious of being a person only when you are in trouble; when you’re not in trouble you do not think of yourself.” 

And I did so because I came to this quote rather magically (I believe in magic@!) after having an experience that relates to the quote itself.

Someone asked, “But how do we overcome thinking about ourselves when not in trouble?” 

Logical question; good question I suppose.  Surely, I don’t have all the answers but perhaps my humble speculation will be of some use to someone, other than my self.  Let me share my experience and that may be self-explanatory.

The other day I was in a place of no-fear, no- desire, non-attachment and  for the most part this is what we may call a contented happiness state.  I say it that way because extreme happiness – or the kind of cartwheels in the street and jumping up and down type of glee is really the result of some type of attachment.  But life itself, the marriage of consciousness to life is contented happiness.   A state of (for the most part) non-self, just merged with the harmony of life, flowing in harmony with what is and this type of non-self.  No strong desire, no craving, no yearning, no fear, no anger, no frustration—like that.   Those are states that attach us to self—thinking of our self.  We may say, as the Buddhists do, that these are states of self-cherishing.

I was in such a state of flow with life; neither here nor there; doing what comes natural; no strong push or desire—and just letting the mind become blank periodically.  And then—DRAMA WALKS IN THE DOOR!

So here comes this energy around me and it feels like it sucks you into your body.  In fact we have expressions like this—“I got sucked into that” or we say “I got pulled into it”.  That’s how it felt quite dramatically and literally.  My ‘self’ wanted to become engaged with the energy and I felt my consciousness being pulled back into ‘self’ when moments earlier I was in a state (more rather than less) of non-self:  no fear, no desire, no attachment—only flow.  Now the flow was being yanked and tugged by my ‘sense of self’–mostly self-identity.

You know how it goes when one begins to feel insulted, right?  That feeling comes up in us and we say things like, “Do they know who they are talking to?!”  It’s ME, the all-important ‘me’!!  Yeah, personality was starting to think about how it was receiving an insult.

I’ve heard it said, “A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.”   The truth that I could return to being an atom of existence or let myself be pulled in was before me—a choice.

When I remembered this—when I remembered that the energy which the personality was being tempted to wrestle with, the energy that was starting to be sucked in by the personality began to  dissolved once I remembered the nature of reality being illusion.

Oh yeah, trust me—I know.  Been there and done that so many times I’m an expert at making illusion really real!  It’s all a play of cosmic matter.

When we become identified personally with any energy we become a slave to it.

When, on the other hand we remember what I heard my higher mind saying at that moment that I began to become sucked in which was IT’S NOT REAL, the “self” subsides and mind merges back into the previous state of no fear, no desire, no attachments, no anger, no craving and so on—everything decreases and wanes and subsides into silence.

Then we stand apart from the illusion having not been sucked in and we become master of the energy instead of the other way around. 

Footnote:  I am grateful for the experience from the Drama Queen because I don’t think I’ve experienced the energy quite so clearly and witnessed the two opposite states so dramatically and felt the pull in such a profound way!

Liberation and Enlightened Awareness Means Not Taking Your Self Too Seriously!

enlarge for background or headerLike everything mental, the so-called ‘law of causation’ contradicts itself (says Nisargadatta).  He adds, “No thing in existence has a particular cause–the entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing; nothing could be as it is without the universe being what it is.”  In this response to a question Nesargadatta is taking time out of the equation which the ego-mind attaches to but the universe functions outside of the law of causation because causation means succession of space time events that are physical or mental and all that has to do with “mind”.  The universe is not bound by its content– everything is an expression of the totality of causes.

As the couple from India in the apartment below me showed up, so did a used book that I’d forgotten I ordered on a teacher (interestingly enough) also from India—Nisargadatta!  For decades now my ears have taken in that name spoken by Dr. Wayne Dyer who would often quote him in his lectures.  The noise and smells below me were too much India for me and the book sat beneath a pile of others, intentionally buried!  After a few gatherings of Indian people for weekend parties below me, it was as if I was THERE—bad enough my sleep and meditations have been disturbed. Teacher or not–a book written by someone having anything to do with India seemed like something that would throw me way over the edge.  I’d been on India overdose!

But I think I really like Nisargadatta now that I’ve cracked the book.  He has essentially validated some of my own insights regarding what happens being just life and even my life being just life and all of it just being energy playing out—no need to take any of it personally!

Between this teacher and few others (via books), I’m also realizing that we humans take our preferences and pains from past memories and call that ME, identifying ourselves based on our memories.  Case in point—the Indian couple (who are just being themselves) have loud voices which I’m now realizing as I look around this community many do talk very loud—trigger within me memories of my parents fighting when I was a child.  Yes, before you ask the Indian couple fights—doors slam and fighting is fighting no matter what language it’s in; so there’s no mistaken it.   Again, it could totally be a cultural thing but all that aside, I find myself bracing in my stomach and jaw when they come in to their apartment (yes, I can hear them) and many times I look for excuses not to come home when I know they’re home—just like as a child I’d not want to go home to hear my parents fighting.  I’d get sick to my stomach and beg my grandmother to let me stay with her so I didn’t have to go home.  All this is memory that I over-identify with as ‘me’—this is what I’m realizing or remembering.  The I AM of ‘me’ doesn’t have anything to do with any of that!  And that is what Nasargadatta is explaining in the book that I’m reading!

I knew that, I lived that and figured it out on my own but forgot it.  Even my longing to go home to the mountains is really just a memory that I’m overly attached to and too identified with which is causing additional unnecessary suffering.

We are not our memories!  Good ones (the serenity of the mountains, the silence) or the bad ones (people yelling and fighting) or even the current events or happenings—it is all just energy playing out and the universe doing what it does and we are part of it in this moment but don’t need to over identify with the memories of the past or the apprehensions of the future.

That is true liberation.  The challenges of course are to recall this and be in this realization; and remain in that awareness when those memories that we mistake for a ‘me’ are triggered.  That’s my work now or at least part of it.

It is said that we are slaves to what we do not know.  And of what we do know we are masters.   When we discover something within ourselves like this and when we strive to understand it and understand its causes and its workings, we can potentially overcome it by the very knowing—the unconscious dissolves when brought to the conscious.

Then we can become quiet again—serene, at peace.

By the way, I am also reading Songyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dying.  I read the huge long thick tedious version a few decades ago when I was a physical therapist.  It was on the required reading list to become a hospice worker.  I did my own survey over the years asking every hospice worker I’d met if they read this book that is required to be read (according to the hospice paperwork I came across) and not a one of them had read it!

Now it’s time for me to do my own writing while everything is quiet here—at least in between clients and my other work.  It’s time for me to return to writing my astrology course.  Meanwhile, the message for the day is not to take your self too personally; like Nisargadatta reminds me through his book, every thing and every one is the energy of the universe working itself out.  Consciousness is one thing but AWARENESS is beyond that and the earth/ego realms and in awareness we realize this liberating truth!

These reminders and realizations and the memory releases are part of the transiting North Node of the Moon merging with my natal South Node (4th house Scorpio)– conjunct now within one degree.  Somehow the recent broken bone in my foot is part of the mini-awakening here and a message to get back in the body and stay centered in the present moment!  There has been so much change since last June!  As a psychic/intuitive, I could feel the change coming but frankly did not foresee how the reversed lunar nodal returns would play out!  ( The nodes were in an exact conjunction 2 days after I broke–in 2 places– a bone in my foot.  Two days before the exact conjunction is “close enough in horse shoes and hand grenades”, as the saying goes.)

For any astrologers out there who may wonder how a reversed lunar nodal return would play out in the 4th house, I also left my home in the mountains to move closer to my children in order to help them which is how I ended up in an apartment above a loud Indian couple.  It was very quiet when I first moved here.  Just for the record, people in our building have complained to the office about them and they have become better mannered and quieter since then.

And here again I have to turn back to Nisargadatta and the liberating teachings and Truth which I have come to already know within myself through my experience in meditation and contemplation:  whatever happens is just life (which includes me) being just life  and all of it just being energy playing out—no need to take any of it personally!  Not even should I take my own self personally — everything is just energy playing itself out.  In a state of pure awareness I see that!  I clearly do and obviously needed the reminder.