Saturday, July 3, 2010

Work is Dharma

I love this eastern saying that "Work is Dharma", ie "Work is Prayer". Work brings me humility. The work I do for others is what pays my room and board. It's definitely different from the 'work' I do for myself. Historically, only work done for others was 'work'. All else was play. In the postmodern world the I and You has been moved closer so these distinctions aren't so clear as a day when actual words like 'vocation' and 'avocation' differentiated the subtle meanings of language.

Language has dummned down a great deal with media and global symbolisms. There's an attempt to make all words mean less things. This contributes on one hand to universality but also encourages shallowness and stupidity. We 'grok' everything but know nothing.

So when I work at the office I'm paid. It's not the same when I work at home washing the dishes. It's not the same when I work at my boat. The latter work pays me in that I'm saved from paying another but it's not the same as when I work for others. When I work for others I'm much less in charge. I'm doing service. I'm serving others.

Service is much maligned today. Yet service is it's own kind of prayer.

Many don't realize that the choice is often whether to be King or Queen of the heap or to be just another servant for the King or Queen. There's that kind of humility in work.

I'm also interested to note that there's a direct correlation between work and negativity. It's like all the other homeostasis that humans find. When I'm working too much I'm negative and when I'm working too little I'm negative. It's like a fever and chills equation. There's this special place where I can find that I'm working enough for others, doing enough service, that I'm actually positive.

Work for others is not just work for family. Jesus said 'even the taxman loves his children". Working for others is like loving the enemy. I work for the boss. Boss is a word like 'parent'. When I'm working for the 'boss' it's a bit like I'm working for my parents. I enjoyed helping my Mom and Dad but I'd rather be playing. Fixing the car was kind of work compared to building sand castles. Working I'm part of something bigger than my little imagination can contain.

Oh, yes, I know there's all those artists and I know that my work on my boat and my work washing the dishes and writing blogs is valuable. It's just that I know the difference between blogging and writing an article for a newsmagazine. In one situation I'm the 'king' whereas in another situation the power shifts exponentially.

I'd like to be paid for playing. Who wouldn't. But that's called war and chaos because other peoples ideas of play don't necessarily stop at 'paint ball'.

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