Work On The Stuff That Matters Or You’ll Be Left In Tatters (alternate title)
I don’t know about you, but when I see a beggar on the street, I feel sorry for him. And guilty. I have so much and he has so little.
But when I reflect that my job on this planet is to get on the path with heart and sort out my soul, is he any worse off than me?
With all that I have been blessed with, am I actually better off where it really counts?
It brings to mind a conversation that Don Juan had with Carlos Castaneda when they were watching street urchins scrounging left-overs from a restaurant.
Don Juan asked Castaneda if he felt sorry for them? He asked him if he felt superior to them? Was he better off than them?
Castaneda affirmed all the questions. I suppose knowing that there was a lesson coming even as the last ‘yes’ left his lips.
Don Juan asked him what made him think that he would find the path before the street urchins?
I’ve reflected on these words for a while and realised that Don Juan is spot on.
When it comes to soul-work, guilt, judging anyone, feeling superior to anyone and feeling sorry for anyone (and, oneself) is a fruitless exercise. We don’t know who will find the path to sorting out his or her soul first (and, it’s not a race). The person we pity could be way down the path to enlightenment. You and I may not even have thought about a path.
We love the Lamborghini more than we do the lamb
In the West we tend to equate success with money, power and possessions. We think that our job is to get stuff and not to work on the stuff inside us. We’ve made stuff our god. We revere Rolex more than reading, we care more for praise (for ourselves) than for prayer, we love the Lamborghini more than we do the lamb and we’d rather be anywhere but here … in this moment. We’re confused and lost. Let me not put this on you and project … maybe I’m confused and lost.
In my opinion, power, money, possessions feed our egos. They distract us from the true purpose: finding a path with heart and doing the work that the soul requires.
There is a strong and valid argument that our quest for stuff could literally be the death of us. Right now, we’re little more than locusts, consuming everything in our path and raping our planet of everything that can sustain us. Our quest for power and to please our ego has already left our souls in tatters … giving us very little room for caring for one another. This drama is not going to end well, that I can promise you.
You’re smart enough to know that by putting each other first we can still fix this planet, we can fix ourselves, we can find a path with heart and we can still sing our soul’s song. We can actually do work that matters. But we’ll have to become a lot less reliant on the notion that the stuff we consume and value right now will make us feel worthwhile.