Monday, May 08, 2006

Looking Again

[Self Reflection]

In the West it is often said that people are driven by sex, money, and power. Now, you might think, "I'm not caught up in such things; my motivation is different. I don't really have anything to work on." But look again and you might see things differently.

I once dreamed that someone accused me of being motivated by sex, power, and money. When I woke up, I thought, "That's ridiculous! I've been working on myself for too long to possibly be caught up in such things. That person is way off base." But when I looked at this possibility honestly, I saw it was true--not in an obvious, Hollywood way, but in my own psychological way.

I could see in myself a deep longing to unite with another, which is a way of being caught up in sex. And although I've tried to avoid all the ordinary ways of getting caught up in power, on a subtle level I longed for the power to influence people and make an impact on them. This subtle attachment to power is where all gross power-craziness comes from. And when it came to money, I saw my passion for the freedom that money can buy: freedom to travel, to do retreats, to benefit others. That subtle attachment was there, even with positive intentions.

By examining our thoughts and beliefs, we uncover our deeper attachments. When they are brought to light, these concepts no longer have power over us.

~ Dzigar Kongtrul, It's Up to You

I do this. I think I am not about money and power. I think that some of the people I see around me are somehow inferior because their lives are focused on acquiring wealth and possessions.

But I want money, not in that materialist, possessive way, but in much the same way Rinpoche describes. I want to be able to travel, to go to Integral Training events, to meditation retreats, to be able to donate money to causes I believe in, and mostly to not have to worry about money.

Same deal with power. I want to influence my clients to live a healthier life. I blog in the hope that some people might think about things from a more integrated or compassionate perspective. I don't want to control anyone (except the slow driver in front of me who can't read the sign that says Slower Traffic Keep Right ), but I do want to influence people to a certain degree -- which I tell myself is not in a bad way.

It's always a mistake when we think we are free from [fill in the blank]. We seldom are as free as we'd like to think we are.

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