Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 29, 2010

Enthusiasm

So, I asked the I Ching this morning, as a contemplative exercise, what lessons I’ve been forgetting, and I received the hexagram #16, Yu/enthusiasm. “Proper enthusiasm opens every door. Improper enthusiasm is fueled by desires of the ego…recognition, wealth, power, freedom from difficulty…” The last one is the one that has been seducing me off the path lately. We live in a construct that consumes so much of our time and creates anxiety and worry and the desire to be free of difficulties. It is so hard to be disciplined and practiced and aware when you are working on your feet 10 to 12 hours a day, getting heaped on with work, and your back hurts, and you’re barely making ends meet. You want to find a way o free ourself from the matrix, but when you get home, you’re too tired to do tai chi or sit in contemplation, and your back is killing you–or whatever your particular circumstances are.

“Proper enthusiasm is fueled by a desire to attain and express inner balance and truth…living in step with what is right and good…striving out of ego only pushes you further from your goals. Keep to what is innocent, correct, and kind, and the Creative will come to your aid. The path of truth is always the path of least resistance.”

Difficulties come. Life is not all difficulty, but it comes. We shouldn’t strive to be free of this. It’s part of life, They are lessons for us. Why does work and life sometimes epress the heck out of us and bring us so down? Is it because we give in and begin striving out of the emotions of the ego–we all want to be successful at work, but there is a line the contemplative practitioner shouldn’t cross–playing the game, trying to manipulate things, getting caught up in it. Whatever we do for a living, if we are doing it out of the necessity of making a living, then we do our jobs correctly and responsibly, to the best of our ability, but we do not cross the line into striving, ego, recognition, power, wealth, etc. Let it serve its purpose and that’s it. Fake enthusiasm is rampant in our modern culture. Proper enthusiasm is rare. As contemplatives, we must cultivate the proper enthusiasm. When we sit in stillness and in meditation, we become aware of the great creative spontaneity of our life, and we have to allow it to run its course. Then there will be many things we’ll recognize that we can enjoy.

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