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.

ADDENDUM to previous blog post – Easter Morning

It is Easter morning April 8th 2012.  I awoke thinking about my father and mother in spirit world and about my dream during the night.  You know how dreams are, strange and wispy.  I’m going to describe mine … the rest of the paragraph is the dream.  We were moving — moving things around and some pipes broke under the kitchen sink and my father was sick and sometimes confused and the air conditioner went out and was thinking that I had one in a storage unit, an extra window unit.  My dad was trying to fix something under the sink–the pipes and he couldn’t.  Just some turmoil and trying to move, knowing we were all moving in some way–the dream was about moving and there was a feeling of turmoil and it being suffocating-ly hot but it was only going to be temporary with the heat and it wasn’t unbearable, just a little bit uncomfortable and we all knew where we were was temporary and that we were moving and would be moving again. 

I awoke thinking how strange it was that dreamt of Dad and that he was confused–and in fact it was me that was confused a bit because I began to think — wait, if my dad is dead [and he is], why would he still be confused there on the other side–that doesn’t seem right.  In fact, I thought that in the dream too; how strange that would be to remain confused after you die.  Everything was very up in the air in the dream–quite unsettled, everything was so temporary and everything was in a stage of being moved… relocated.  Things (objects/furniture) and people all being relocated.  The place we were ‘at’ in the dream — it was a temporary place, not the final destination.

I like when I dream of my dad actually but usually he is fine when I dream of him–not in a sick-bed or confused.  I wanted to feel comforted by seeing my dad in the dream but the dream was not necessarily a pleasant or comforting dream at all.  It wasn’t a nightmare but it wasn’t exactly a happy dream–it was about moving and being hot b/c the air conditioner broke and it was about moving things temporarily.  Well, now I realize that I’m repeating myself.  I’ll stop going on about the dream now.

I got out of bed and made my way to the coffee pot remembering that it was Easter.  I hit the button on the blinking answering machine–there were messages.  My sister called about my brother and his wife… she has been ill.  Our sister-in-law who was sick in the hospital with failing organs complicated by pneumonia had died during the night; she had, during her last few hospitalizations, become extremely confused.   My sister received the call from our brother at 3:30 AM; right when I was dreaming.  Maybe it was my sister-in-law in the dream and I simply put my dad in to play the role in my dream.  I didn’t know her very well and they live very far away from the rest of us. 

I do think it’s very significant –the timing.  Easter morning after all — when the xtian “risen” energy is the most on people’s minds and Masses and prayers and services are beginning.  They were Russian Orthodox and my sister’s priest says they celebrate Easter 2 weeks later than Catholics or other xtians.  But ‘me thinks’ this really doesn’t matter in the big picture.  Prayers are prayers and good vibes are good vibes and if you are going to ascend, why not on an Easter morning no matter which Easter morning it is (who knew there was more than one?).  My mother died on a Catholic holiday that celebrates the Blessed Mother — good juju, good luck, good omen and all of that. 

Our sister-in-law rose up on a day when people are thinking of resurrection.  My dad probably came to tell me in a dream to let me know about my sister-in-law and you know how the mind is and how dreams are–symbolically dramatic.  My mind made a little story about it. 

I’d like to think my Mom and Dad and myself too were there helping her move and helping her be comfortable in her crossing.  (After all, my dad was trying to fix the pipes and I was trying to get an extra air conditioner to keep things comfortable.)  I called my dinner-party-daughter (my youngest) to tell her this morning and she said immediately that she dreamt last night too– about a co-worker’s mother who died.  This daughter’s Moon and Mercury are in Pisces and she’s always been very intuitive that way and often has meaningful dreams–sometimes prophetic.

I am going to meditate now and do some prayer work for my sister-in-law.  I feel assured she had help getting to the other side and that my parents helped along with many others.  May you be happy dear sister-in-law now that you are free from the physical body and liberated back into the subtle body realms!  Give a greeting to my parents for me, won’t you?  Don’t worry about your husband, we’ll check on him often for you.

****************************************************************

BOTTOM LINE:  Here’s what I took away from the dream as far as a message is concerned.  My parents were part of this process and I was somehow involved myself also in the journey that my sister-in-law was making in her death process.  Yet, with the entire feeling of the dream  I was being reminded that life itself and death, no matter how many times it occurs (reincarnation) is a journey that continues–the whole feeling was that the journey is always occurring whether we are in a physical body or not in the physical body… we are all of us always still traveling and journeying and we never arrive at any particular destination, it is ongoing, everlasting and forever.  Anyway that was the feeling.  And that we humans help each other on our journeying — as family we help one another whether it is biological family or whether we are related legally as we would think of it — through our caring for one another in whatever way that occurs we do what we can to help another on their journey.  Family usually cares for one another but we have all kinds of family that we inherit as part of our knowing them and about them — we are all one another’s family–the human family.  And we all, as caring and loving humans, do whatever we can to help each other on the journey that we are all taking whether it is in this life or the after life–we do what we can to make one another comfortable and to make the journey easier.  The overall feeling in the dream is that we are always, all of us, at all times in some sort of transition and that we are all here to help each other’s journey so in that sense we are always moving, and everything is always temporary or as the Buddhist speak of impermanence.  And at the time of death or when the soul/spirit is leaving the body, people are there to help us to make it more comfortable.  I think the ‘heat’ part of the dream was me working the heater that was actually on in my bedroom making my own sleeping room that night too warm–I worked that into the dream; yet, it was also significant in that I think there is a sort of heat thing that happens as the spirit and soul are leaving the physical body.  That part of the dream seemed instructive to me personally but it wasn’t anything severe.  I just felt we should have an air conditioner to make the room more comfortable and in the dream I sent someone out to get a portable unit that I had in storage, even though I knew it would be only temporary.  The thrust of the feeling of the dream was that we help each other, we gather around one another, to make the journey more comfortable in life and in death both. 

My Alaskan sister-in-law was an Eskimo of the Inuit tribe.  She will be buried in the village where she was born.. they must fly her body there for this is the only way to reach the village.  Her people and their ways will also be helping her in her journey.  My brother now has people of a different family, the tribe.  They will help him too. 

The Little Deer, a Cherokee Legend – Deer Hunters of the Western Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Hunting Season 2011

Think Before You Shoot (or if you must, for you own health, think after… read on and you will see what I mean; it can’t hurt to know these things 🙂

This post was motivated by love for both human and animal kingdoms.

One With The Earth; are you awake or asleep?  A myth is a legend and as many historians will tell you, the power of the myth (See: Joseph Campbell) is…. well, powerful and it holds a truth that is deeply engrained in consciousness.  That is, if one is conscious enough of consciousness to ‘be’ conscious of it.  Either you get that or you don’t.  Let’s move on…

Do you find hunting, the hunter—sport hunting with no reverence for the animal—emotionally upsetting? Are you a hunter who is looking forward to the upcoming hunting season and one who has never considered the spirit of the animal and its connection to your christian god?   Do you believe nature and its inhabitants are on the earth for the sport of serving your destructive pleasure?  On the other hand, you might carry the memories in your soul of the early days when man was merged with nature as one.

Perhaps, like me, you dread the start of the upcoming hunting season.  May you find some comfort or balance with your emotions with that by reading this post.

Whether you have an aversion/abhorrence to hunting OR an attraction to killing animals (either way), my intention in writing about this whole issue of hunting and killing animals is that it be of service to the reader.

If you’re a hunter with no conscious awareness of your spiritual connection to your animal brothers and sisters, maybe you could develop a-little-bit-of one by reading the story of the Little Deer below.  You may want to think about what you are doing when you shoot to kill in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina–you are on sacred ground, the Cherokee Ancestral Home where animals were considered ‘relatives’ and their clans respected.

This information comes from some writing by Warren Jefferson who compiled such information on beliefs of the North American Indian.

The lives of the  North American Indians were infused with the supernatural and there was a constant interaction between the spirit world and theirs.

In my recent study which comes from a renewed interest in Indian culture I came across a Cherokee myth or story referred to as Little Deer.  I am most interested in the ancient ancestors, before Europeans came to North America.

Many Indian tribes throughout North America tell of a time when humans and animals ‘shared common ancestors’ and ‘spoke the same language’ with animals.  (See Ted Andrews, Animal Speak)   We see groups with semi-animal and semi-human ancestors in American Indian culture–half-man and half-animal.   But then don’t we see the same thing in the ancient cultures of Egypt and Greece for example?

Pre-patriarchial times is what I mean… the matriarchal days when earth mother was honored have an influence on the consciousness carried forward into some Cherokee myths. 

There were animal totems and certain animals were seen as protectors of the animal clan.  The person would, in those days, enter into the relationship with the spirit of a particular animal species such as the wolf, bear, caribou, elk, deer or other animal and incorporate the animal’s characteristics into one’s self drawing the animal’s qualities, strengths and survival skills.

Perhaps there are many of us who have the memories of living in such ways still alive in our souls?  And we are the ones who would likely shutter at the thought of sport killing and hunting.

Once a totem animal, in Indian tradition, has been acquired, the person is bound to certain actions and taboos regarding that animal.

Christian or non-spiritual hunters today seem to have no taboos other than their enjoyment of the kill as a sport without any consideration for the soul of the animal.

And, Yes.  North American Indians believed not only animals but trees had a soul too.  Living closely with nature thousands of years ago  it was as obvious to them, just as it would be to today to anyone who lives close to nature and who has thrown off patriarchal religious conditioning which poisons the mind to the sacredness of nature.

Often a person could not hunt or kill his totem animal even as a matter of survival and even if the spirit of the animal was honored.  This is because someone’s totem animal is, for them,  in effect a special “relative”.

The Cherokee ancestral home is in the present-day western Appalachian Mountain region of North Carolina.  Today, many (or most) Cherokee people live in Oklahoma, since their forced removal from the region in 1838 known as the Trail of Tears.  I live in the Cherokee Ancestral territory.

I believe the following information comes from James Mooney’s “Myths of the Cherokee” about North American Indians.

Man is the paramount power and hunts and slaughters the others as his own necessities compel, but is obliged to satisfy the animal tribes in every instance, and according to the Indian system, the bones of the dead are covered with presents for the bereaved “relatives”—the other animals of the animal tribe. (I wonder how many hunters stop to think of the bereaved animal relatives of the animal they kill.)

This pardon by the hunter is made easier, according to the shamans, through their knowledge of reincarnation in which it is understood that every animal has a definite “life term”, which cannot be curtailed by violent means.

If the last paragraph above is true, it will help me get through this year’s deer hunting season—the beginning of which is closely approaching.  I find it highly significant that I seem to have drawn in the information exactly at a time when it is most beneficial to know!

According to the shaman, if the animal is killed before the ‘expiration date of the allotted time for that animal’s life’, the death is only temporary and the body is immediately resurrected in its proper shape from the blood drops, and the animal continues its existence until the end of the predestined period, when the body is finally dissolved and the liberated spirit goes to join its kindred.

This belief appears in the story of Little Deer (below).  In that story, certain supernatural personages have dominion over the animals and are therefore regarded as the… well, for the lack of a better word, perhaps the one who disseminates karma.

Here is the short story of the Little Deer from Cherokee Myth (and there are truths in myths!) about a hunter who neglects to do a ceremony for the animal’s spirit after killing a deer.  The following story comes from beliefs of North American Indians regarding their animal “relatives” who they call the “four-footed tribes”.

The Little Deer

Now, whenever the hunter shoots a Deer, the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and cannot be wounded [the Soul of the animal group leader for the deer], runs quickly up to the spot and, bending over the bloodstains, asks the spirit of the Deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter for pardon.

If the reply is yes, all is well, and the Little Deer goes on his way; but if the reply be no, he follows on the trail of the hunter, guided by the drop of blood on the ground, until he arrives at his cabin in the settlement [the hunter’s living quarters], when the Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the hunter with rheumatism, so that he becomes at once a helpless cripple.

No hunter who has regard for his health ever fails to ask pardon from the Deer for killing it, although some hunters who have not learned the prayer for the animal’s spirit may try to turn aside the Little Deer from his pursuit by building a fire behind them on the trail.  (Moony 1900)

Here is another version of the mythical tale of The Little Deer:

In these early days, the plants, the animals, and the people all lived together as friends. As the people multiplied, however, the animals had less room to roam, and they were either slaughtered for food or trampled under the humans’ feet. Finally the animals held a council to discuss what to do.  The deer held a council and decided to send rheumatism to any hunter who killed a deer without asking its pardon for having done so.

When a deer is shot by a hunter, the fleet and silent Little Deer, leader of the deer, runs to the blood-stained spot to ask the spirit of the killed deer if the hunter prayed for pardon for his affront. If the answer is no, Little Deer follows the trail of blood and inflicts the hunter with rheumatism so that he is crippled.

The more you are motivated by L.O.V.E., the more fearless and free your action will be