2892058635_da341cba5fYou may have noticed, we’ve been sending out news to our lists more frequently over the last weeks.  “What’s got into you Arjuna? You used to be such a quiet, retiring kind of fellow. Suddenly you’re sending out email, like popcorn.”  When you send out more frequently to a list, it is inevitable that some people will unsubscribe.  You can do so today through the ‘manage your subscription’ link at the bottom of any e mail we send you.  I hope you don’t, but it’s always there if you want it.
I got one particularly energetic unsubscribe request recently from a young man in Germany.  Rather than using the link, he decided to send me a personal message.  And here it is:
“Bullshit!! All your ‘doing’ is just making the “I” stronger.  I think you’re just trying to build your business and make money.”
I really appreciated the passion with which my young German friend expressed himself, and I got to thinking about it afterwards.  He had some important things to share.  The first was that the activity we were creating was re-enforcing the “I”.  And in a way, he’s got a point.  Many of us have created a schism between the vast empty space of awakening and the realm in which there’s a ‘you’ and ‘me’, and activity happening.
The interesting thing for many of us these days is not so much to disappear completely and rest in a void space, but how can this dance of ‘I’ and ‘you’ and ‘we’ and ‘they’ continue in a context of wakefulness? The trick of living an awakened life is not so much to make the sense of an “I” go away, but to see its illusory nature and let the dance of life continue anyway.
His second point was even more interesting: he was accusing me of just being interested in building a business and making money.  There’s truth in what he says there too. For thousands of years we have believed that there is an inevitable schism between awakening consciousness and worldly and material success.  Jesus set a whole process in motion when he let that comment slip about the rich man and the camel in the eye of a needle.  I’m sure if he’d anticipated how many people would be living in unnecessary hardship as a result, he might have thought twice about that statement.  (more…)