Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | December 14, 2010

In the World, Not Of It

There are certainly a lot of people who have found a niche in this world. Some are doing wonderful work and fulfilling their duties and obligations while enjoying the work they do, and making a wonderful, positiver contribution to society. There are some people who have found a niche in this world, but have succombed to negative influences and behaviors such as greed, manipulation, power, and control. They may be succeeding in this world, but…

There are some of us who know what they’d like to be doing, know what they ought to be doing, but haven’t found that niche yet, and feel down that they are “stuck” in a job that pays the bills, or have no job at all. This post is for us!

All the good contemplatives recognize an important reality–we are not of this world, just in it. This alone can be very frustrating, unless we change our perspective and understand this very important dynamic–the secular wolrd creates a matrix in order for society work on a large scale–but by its very nature, it is broken and flawed. Those of us who are working on the awareness of our inner nature, of the source of our life, on the meaning of life, recognize that there is another way. We carve out time for disciplined practice, be it meditation, tai chi, yoga, zen. We try to live each moment, even those moments expended discharging our secular duties and obligations, with a sense of right action, moral behavior, dignity, respect for ourselves and others, and awareness/mindfulness.

It is helpful to me to realize that where I am at in any given moment of my life is not the destination–but merely part of the journey. Working retail can be soul sucking to say the least, but it offers opportunities, as does any line of work, to practice our respective spirital disciplines. And a chance to recognize that it is not the final destination, just a moment in the journey.

I have to give credit for this idea, although I’ve expounded on it myself numerous times, to a preacher named Todd Coontz(another sow a 1,000 dollar seed and break the back of poverty preacher), who, like Mike Murdock, says some very wise things up until the sales pitch to send them $1,000.

With this idea in mind, I’ve been doing a little mini meditation, visualizing myself in my car on a highway, and the exit signs are marked by the seasons or stages in my life–first few miles, grammar school, the high school, then up a bit and college, and then the series of jobs I’ve held along the way. It’s a way of visualizing the journey. Perhaps the constant is the “car” or vehicle in which I am making this journey–I guess I am the car, I am the vehicle, and it’s me who has been making this journey and pulling on and off the highway.

Where is the journey headed? In the ultimate long run, having fulfilled my duties and obligations here in this life, having graduated and learned the lessons of this life, having developed my spiritual life so that I can move up and on in the next level. The journey in this life? I don’t know. There will be a few other “jobs” I suppose along the way that pay the bills. I will continue to the end working on the contemplative and spiritual life. I’ll probably have another project or two to keep me interested in the game.

And I’ll keep reminding myself that while I may have to live in this world, I don’t have to be of it.

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