Sunday, February 25, 2007


I have been thinking a lot lately about how is it possible to live a purposeful life? Even if one knew what one's purpose is, what passions drives one, there are many distractions -- religion, consumerism, politics, idealogies and world views, family and community. These constructs that should be helpful in our journey to fulfilling our purpose can become addictions or distractions that take us off the path intended for us by our soul/guide when we were born.

It seems that the icons of self-actualized people that we admire, the Ghandis, the Mother Theresas, seem to step out to the very edge of society, religion, family and communities, sometimes going right off the edge.

When one steps off the edge, as a Van Gogh might, one is often seen as "crazy". But is that individual really crazy or simply not supported by the society and community of their era? Is that individual just crazy or are they on the leading edge of a universal mind expanding into new insights, new experiences, new wisdom?

Recently, I have been presented with a business opportunity that is not suitable to me and my personal philosophy. However, the jargon of the business has adopted much of the language that I use in my own self-talk every day and the recruitment feels almost like an attempt to convert me to a religion. I as so familiar with "evangelism", I am feeling anger towards the recruiters for this business. And I know that's not fair.

While the recruiters mean well and believe in this business opportunity, it is not for me. It does not line up with my passions. And putting aside any other reservations I might have about the business structure and integrity, the passion for me is the bottom line. Why take on another "paying job" that I cannot support 100%? This business opportunity does not feed my passion. It's only a possible source of money. Like the paying job I already have.

The sun is so warm. The bitterly cold weather has softened. The snow is losing its lightness, the sharpness, also softening as the weather has, and settling. The snow is much harder to move now. It can't be swept away easily and much more effort goes into shoveling it off the deck and paths.

I realize that the warmth of my own passions can be counted on to soften me too. I am less movable. I am more sure, settled. To the logic of some other people, it may seem like I'm going off the edge. Who goes to Ethiopia on a holiday on some crazy mission of research for their writing? Me. I do.

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Blogger sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




10:28 p.m.  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kati... I do not think that living a purposeful or deliberate life means that you have to have a single, clearly defined focus/purpose. I think that those examples you cited are just easier to use as examples of this because they are so extreme, you know what I mean?

They make a much better story than someone who is quietly and purposefully living his or her life amongst the rest of men... and they make much easier role models than your neighbor down the street because you can aspire to be like them but don't have to feel too badly if you don't quite make it. After all, you should be able to live as well as your wise, kind old neighbor down the street... but Mother Theresa and Ghandi have an otherworldy, exotic quality about them that sets them apart.

Am I making any sense? Maybe I'm rambling here...

12:16 a.m.  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Wow, Ethiopia! Those should be some great posts!

Good for you, to resist the allure or whatever (maybe just exreme pushiness) of the new business opportunity. It's hard to stay true to yourself or even know sometimes what that true self is. Looks like you're further along than most of us.

I think passionate people are the most interesting. So, it follows (I think!) that having your occupation/vocation be your passion would fill your days with interest.

Thanks for making me think.

11:06 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:15 a.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Sushil, you often succeed in making me think about things from a different perspective. Oddly enough, in our fast paced society, I often hear people complaining that they are too busy, but they are afraid they would be bored if they quit running from one task to another!

Kim, I tend to equate purpose with passion. Goals may change along the way as our lives expand and we grow. Nothing says we have to be a Ghandi vs the quietly fulfilled granny who is our neighbour. However, in my experience, most of of us do not give ourselves permission to follow our passions, because on some basic intuitive level, our family/group labels that as crazy -- no matter how mundane our passion might seem to somebody else. It's almost a given that giving ourselves permission often involves a departure from the safety of the group, ie the definition of the edge is different for each individual. Whether that departure is encouraged or is a struggle, it's still a departure. And whether that "departure" into being ourselves is just a matter of growing up with supportive "parenting" or a wrench against unhealthy "protectiveness" or some other disfunction, it's still a departure.
A coworker at my paying job last night told me her mother has a theory that God created the teenage hormonal lunacy just to allow parents the motivation to welcome the relief of the fledgling leaving the nest as a young adult. It would be much more painful, the theory goes, as if a sweet 7 or 8 year old (no matter how wise) were leaving home, if the parent had not been "softened" by the difficult time of the "moody teenager".
Now, I'm rambling.

11:16 a.m.  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

If you do get the chance to follow your passion, I hope you can take it, Kati.
But you will be a rare person if you can do it! When I look around at the women I know who are in the over 45/under 65 age range, so very few would be able to give themselves permission to follow a passion... but not because they fear leaving the safety of the group. The reason is that someone in the family group will suffer and possibly die without their presence. So many friends are part of the Caregiver generation, for elders, for unparented grandchildren, or for their own adult children with disabilities.

Your coworker's idea reminded me of how obnoxious my oldest was the summer before leaving for college. We suspected that he wanted to be sure we didn't miss him and that we were so grouchy that he'd miss us less, too!


5:48 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Annie, I realize that this might sound like I'm heartless,irresponsible or selfish, but I believe a caregiver often chooses to be in that role without considering that there are always many choices. Often, being unwilling to allow ourselves to consider being ourselves, we refuse to allow the universe to bring into alignment with our desires all sorts of surprising forces to assist us. Reminds me of the story of the guy hanging by his fingers from the edge of a cliff, yelling for help. Finally, a HUGE voice answers his request: "I am God. Let go." ... pause ... the man: "anybody else out there?" Maybe by insisting on our perceived 'duties', we are also depriving the person we feel the duty for of their destiny. Sometimes,I see people hiding behind "duty", when almost everyone would be very glad if they relaxed their hold just a little. And sometimes I see both people clasping each other in the death-grip of "duty", mutually excluding any possibility of a juicy life for themselves or the other. You will find that many people like me in health care are less afraid of death and often welcome it as a more natural end to the course of things, than many alternatives that I won't go into here. I admit I see a lot of dysfunctional people in the line of my paying job, as well among family and friends. But,I am able to easily see that being in a relationship of that involves dutiful care of a loved one (or of anyone, actually)can also be one of the juiciest passions in one's life. Passions evolve and change over the course of a life.

6:42 p.m.  

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