The Middle Way
Life is ACTION and movement. Even when “nothing is happening” – a SHIT LOAD OF STUFF IS HAPPENING. Furthermore, a “dead” body has PLENTY happening with it as it makes it’s progression into decay. But WE want to focus on deliberate positive action done from love, peace, inspiration and a joyful desire. That’s being spiritually mature and responsible. One of my teachers used to say, “If you don’t take care of yourself, someone else will – in THEIR way.” Believe me, you don’t want someone else taking care of you unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Even though I am totally dependent on God to take care of me, because of myself I can do nothing – I am DOING stuff a LOT of the time. I have desires, goals, intentions, wants . . . and I go for them – all the while constantly SURRENDERING them to Spirit and detaching from outcomes. I GO FOR IT, but from a place of peaceful surrender instead of from the ambitious frantic ego-dominated mindset that I once did when I was hypnotized by the culture we live in.
I think sometimes people have a misconception even about being a spiritual teacher. I DO EVERYTHING you see basically. I reserve the lecture spaces, drive to them, set up my stuff for the room, make the deposits, pay the bills, do the accounting, design the websites, write the blogs, record the talks, make the CD’s, mail the CD’s, send out the mp3’s, answer every email, read and study hours a day, order and get all the supplies from postage to affirmation cards and paper clips, purchase the office equipment and keep it going, send out the lecture announcements, do the lecture notes, buy the flowers, load the car, unload the car . . . and so much more – for over 2 decades. MOST of my work as a spiritual teacher is secretarial work, design work, and general dragging shit from one place to another. There are no assistants, no volunteers, no staff. I am not the “talent” who simply arrives and gives the talk. And honestly? I LOVE it! I get burned out once in a while, but then I make adjustments as necessary and am back on the joy route.
Now, I am writing this because spiritual people seem to get some erroneous idea that doing “spiritual” things will lift them up above the mundane shit of life and they won’t have to make decisions or choices or deal with all “action” parts of life because ANGELS will be doing everything for them and carrying their books. They even think that people will be easier to deal with as if there will be an absence of human personalities when we reach a certain level of spiritual growth. LOL. People sometimes write and say HORRIBLE things to me and LOTS of people DO NOT like me one bit and make sure to let me know. It’s just that I don’t care anymore because I stopped thinking that I could get the approval of anyone but myself. MOST of what I do is mindless office work, done alone, and for years I only usually heard from those who had complaints instead of from those who were satisfied – til I cleaned up my vibration and got a paper shredder. The point of this is this: I feel honored and blessed to do every bit of it. I LOVE my job a whole fucking lot and I have zero complaints about any of it now. It’s fucking awesome. And what I know is that spiritual work is NO different than any other kind of work. It’s ALL spiritual work and it all has mundane things that need to be done. AND that is GOOD, because it is humbling in a very good way for the ego.
Deliberate non-attached action is the middle way – a path to peace. The Course doesn’t read itself to you. Peace is not just sitting like a lump expecting life to bend itself to your will without you participating or ever going after what you want – and it’s not about micromanaging and strategizing with endless lists of what you think you NEED in order to be happy.
We do best when we work with the energies that are present here and now. Sometimes the lights are green, sometimes yellow, sometimes red. “Don’t push the river” is the taoist way of saying this. Of course we all need to make plans and take thought – but as Joel Goldsmith says, “take no ANXIOUS thought” and the Course says make no “self-initiated plans” which means no EGO-initiated plans. ASK Spirit for guidance, then go ahead and make your plans – in pencil. And there may be a LOT to DO in these plans – learn to DO joyfully without stress and attachment. Be present with the energies that are flowing in the moment. Learn to become still inside even when the body is quite busy. DO what it takes to get the job done – with as much grace and peace as possible. Bring JOY to your work as best you can. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Lighten up and do what is in front of you to do.
It is impossible to not want anything. The organism itself IS run by desire – without it we would starve to death. Desire and wanting is perfectly normal – it is ATTACHED desire that makes us suffer. There is nothing unspiritual about wanting a sandwich. Where you get fucked up is thinking that if you don’t get exactly the sandwich you want, when you want it, the way you want it, as often as you want it, that you will be miserable and a failure and that something is wrong with the whole system that needs to be changed.
The Middle Way is the path to peace. There is a season for everything. Listen, learn and DO – without attachment to outcomes.