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.
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.