Friday, December 10, 2010
The Karma Yogi Mantra
"It is not about me.
I am here to serve.
I am doing my duty.
I do the best I can.
I offer up the results of my efforts, good or bad."
With mixed results, I’ve been experimenting with how to share what with whom. Information, eye contact, earth-space – these things and more are for sharing. What we share composes the grounds upon which ‘relationship’ plays out, and ‘relationship’ accounts for the majority of life’s peaks and pitfalls.
What do you share?
It’s a serious question. I invite you to honestly ponder, if only momentarily, what it is you choose to share with the humans you interact with in this life. A key step here is to separate what you hope to share from what actually transpires. This takes practice. Everyone I know shares laughs. What else? Food, yes, but think on an energetic level. Pause here for contemplation.
(my initial list is: healing hugs, joy of play (sports), and true attention or presence, except when not, then it's sardonic intellect and tamasic inclinations)
I was in a Discipline Committee meeting at Suffield once. I’d missed some classes, maybe said some things. And I forget who, but one of the wizened faculty asked me to imagine a statistic, to come up with a percentage-value weighing my contributions to the community in terms of positive and negative poles. He did not make me name the number (no need to make me lie out loud), but asked me to keep the idea with me, and to aim for 51%, that’s all.
Having since studied the principles of the Law of One series (Law of One Study Guide), I find that this way of measuring progress is widely recommended throughout creation. Here, Ra frames it in terms of Service-to-Self (STS) opposed to Service-to-Others (STO). Ra makes it known that 51% really is all you need. Higher is better of course, but if you’re over 50%, you’re on a good course, getting ready to ascend.
Like last week, I've got to share what Ghandi says about service (p 41, The Gita According to Ghandi):
"Real service consists in working for those whom one does not know personally... By and by, the sphere of our service will enlarge itself to embrace the whole world... We should serve the humblest human beings, even those whom we never see, with respect and honor and looking upon them as gods and not as our servants. We should, in other words, serve the whole world."
For me, this concept has helped tremendously, however gradually over the course of years. I start the process by stopping to notice what impact my presence is having on any given situation: am I offering a higher probability of gentleness and joy? or of suspicion and shame? Am I giving inspiration or discouragement?
I hate this question when I’m already irritated, but having been asked, it acts to slow me down and zoom me out, from which vantage point I can choose a new approach; or maybe the same one, if it still suits me. First comes the noticing – only then are we conscious enough to make what we can fairly call a choice.
We are making choices constantly. We chose a human birth custom-designed to present us with the proper sequence of subsequent choices. Sights and sounds, names and form interact in an intricately staged play (I prefer the name lila) of which we are writer, director, props, cast & star. We create great drama to which suffering is inherent.
Is it not true that at times we don’t even bother to audition for the role we were literally born to play? Or at times overact our roles as extras and then shrink from the spotlight; or the opposite, thrive unnoticed until ready for our raucous solo debut. Everyone comes out of nowhere.
In any case, it is a constant balancing act to identify and perform our proper roles. One of the primary ways this struggle takes shape for me concerns how to share my writing. I used to keep it all to myself, thinking a) it was not worthwhile, and b) that I risked being seen as egotistical if I gave it out.
Then it dawned on me that keeping it to myself was just as much a symptom of ego as giving it out, because that falsely presumes that it’s mine to begin with. So I began giving it away everywhere. I encountered indifference, since the people reading had not necessarily requested anything to read or contemplate.
Now, I have learned to enjoy this blogspot format for its flexible level of formality, but more for the fact that it makes my pages available while in no way imposing them on anyone. Once sought, they are simple to find, but it's the initial intention that I'm after. I am going to write, that much is sure; whether anyone reads or not has nothing to do with me, is after-the-fact. I hope people are drawn to it, and get something from it, because I feel that this is my service, and we all want our contributions to be appreciated.
Ego wants appreciation; non-acting Atman does what must be done through me,
As it is, I insist on nothing and can only give suggestions, point to the path as I see it, and maybe at best explain the way I understand certain semiotic constructions. That said, I’ve probably posted too many spontaneous poems on the Facebook entity; long, frivolous poems that lack polish. Oh well. We all start somewhere.
As I said, flexible formality.
“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, composing a love-note to humanity.”