Striving for an Ever-changing Goal
"Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." -Zhuangzi
Proteus wrote: Let's just not forget that a path of anything, whether it be an individual or the entire temple, has no actual destination, only an ever moving process. Focus on the process and we will find no need for a destination again.
Maybe instead of calling it a "path" we should rename it. Maybe it shouldn't be "Jedi path" but "Jedi song", or "Jedi dance"
I like the video Lykeios.
“That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love”
What he is, or should be, talking about is changing the form of 'reward'. They call it a reward system for a reason. If experience as a function of time is contextual, then I think a better definition of the path is the process of shaping that context of experience - which just happens to be available to us throughout our life, and indeed is probably constitiuent to sentience whether we ignore it or embrace it.
For example I tend to see the rat race as more like that mouse wheel, you work to pay the bills so you can go to work, repeat. It just keeps going until you get old and cannot do it anymore and then you just cling to whatever you've got left until the end. Nothing wrong with that if its your passion, but its engineered to be all about work. Most of us don't get to do what we love, and if we do it doesn't stay like that for too long. So if you want to get off the rat race, then its about not needing to work anymore I guess - and maybe it needs to be about what is of passion to you. We can have more then one passion though, and if we want to live a long and happy life, then something which can serve both longevity and happiness might be ideal. For Jedi it's being a Jedi I guess
You definitely can get some decent women to come visit your tent in the woods, yeah its possible, but having at least some AMBITION that may one day result in some money and some social status makes things way easier (for him and for her) and allows for higher potential number of quality partners. Why should a good looking woman who is loyal and intelligent put herself in a situation where she is in love with or pregnant by a dude who doesnt have ambition greater than building a rad teepee? That doesnt matter to all males, but it matters quite a lot to many.
This topic seems like one of the same things i went through as a young man: i wanted to reject a system that i felt was corrupt and shallow.
The truth is that our lives will be as corrupt or shallow or meaningful as we want them to be, no matter what educational or vocational path we choose. But avoiding the work and the responsibility that it takes to be self sufficient and autonomous is what keeps young males stuck at little boy level indefinitely.
Youre either going to die while youre still young, or youre eventuallly going to reach your thirties (sooner than you think) and then your forties, and then fifties ect..
I agree with the rejection of the rat race; refuse to just follow along and be a mindless lemming like all the other sheeple. Instead, plan out your life in a deliberate fashion and set intelligent goals that reflect your own honest, PERSONAL ambitions. Pursue your own passions and talents, regardless of what others say, so that you can some day be at the accomplished end of a social institution that genuinely appeals to you. Goals are how you get to the point where youre good at things. Goals are how you build a life that youre proud of, one step (goal) at a time.
Not having goals is how you end up resenting your life: getting stuck working somewhere you really dont want to be and in a set of circumstances you regret, because you made bad decisions (or just didnt make GOOD decisions, which means future and goal oriented decisions) and now your options are super limited but youve got bills to pay and obligations to meet.
If i had to reduce all teachings down to one single skill, it would be how to identify, set, and pursue intelligent and meaningful goals.
The women that will agree to have sex with you tend to be more attractive and of generally higher quality when you have a home and a car and some cash in your pocket, than when you have to take them to your tent in the woods.
I think your point was better made before the edit -
It sort of said "You can't non-conform, then complain that you can't find enough other people who want to non-conform"
Sort of the risk of being a separatist (that and being murdered on a shitty planet no one has ever heard of)
On a side issue - Let's say you escape the "rat race" become a bikie -
It is what we call "same shit, different smell" - You're still fighting in some or another arena to have the bigger bike, the more elaborate handle-bar tassels, the most blood borne diseases, or whatever the going metric is for success.
(actually, ride bikes even if you do stay in the rat race. The close relationship bike riding has with a horrific painful death really helps put some perspective on other rubbish*, and frankly, if you want to Die Like a Man(TM), the only way to do it is sliding along the asphalt at 88mph until your meatsack strikes a bridge support and your spine separates itself from your pelvis.)
*like putting the rubbish out.
Edit: Stay in the rat race long enough to be able to afford insurance. In the event that you *don't* die, getting rebuilt is expensive.
Freaking LOVED that video!
And if you ever hear a comedian doing a "white guy" voice, this video was probably their model lol
Lykeios wrote: NOTE: This is NOT a critique or criticism of the recent sermon (One Direction, Many Paths). This is just something (admittedly, the sermon did bring the idea to mind) I wanted to ask about/discuss.
Jediism (and western culture in general, actually) tends to be very goal-oriented. We talk about the path leading somewhere. We talk about heading towards some (usually vague) destination. Which is fine, goals can be good. The thing I wonder about is the next part where we say "Good job! You made it! Take a day off to reflect!" then, five minutes later, "oh, by the way, here's a whole new goal for you to work towards!" and the cycle repeats. Over. And over. And over. And over. And then we die. (Note that the person saying these things to us may not be another person, it could be our inner voice pushing us forward.)
This, to me, seems rather unhealthy. (People often call this, in the context of a work environment, "the rat race.")
If I recall correctly, it was the Tao of Pooh that first made me question this aspect of our culture. In a rather amusing manner, the author (Benjamin Hoff, I think) pokes fun at westerners for constantly working their butts off for a reward they never receive. He points out that even on our days off we push ourselves to achieve things and in this way we're constantly rushing about in a frenetic frenzy of activity.
It isn't just in our spiritual lives (though this, to me, seems like the part of our lives we'd least want this attitude in), it is pervasive throughout our life. In school there's always another goal. Passed grade school? Cool! On to junior high/middle school. Passed that? Okay, now you're on to high school! Got your diploma? Good for you! Now head straight to university/trade school! Finished your degree? Wow, impressive! Want to try for a masters? And so on. Then, it's time to enter the workforce (in some manner) and from there it's a never ending climb through increasingly difficult obstacles. We live our lives chasing a horizon that we will NEVER reach. Like donkeys following a carrot on a stick (and often with a painful switch behind us). The punishments for backsliding can be horrible and disheartening. The rewards for succeeding seem to get smaller and smaller the further we go (especially considering the amount of work we put in to get where we are).
Do we ever just stop to take stock? To congratulate ourselves?
The answer, in some cases (and perhaps many) is yes. But then there are others of us who were never taught to take a break to appreciate the view after we've reached the next big plateau in our lives. Many of us pick up bad habits or even diseases/disorders from this lifestyle. We learn negative self-talk for when we fail or feel we will fail, self-medicating for when we just can't deal anymore, chewing our nails for letting out stress or just to give our over-caffeinated brains something to do that isn't work, avoidance for when we don't want to heap on another burden, etc. etc. etc.
Now, I've heard at least a few leaders/teachers here warn about this kind of thing. They say "don't rush it," or "take your time," or (perhaps even better) "it's not about the destination but about the journey and the things you learn along the way." They try to teach us these things, but do we really let those words sink in? Or do we take it easy for a week and then realize we still have so much to do and throw ourselves back into our efforts harder than before?
Should we be focusing on the goal? Is "keep your eyes on the prize" good advice? Or should we become more serene and enjoy what we've already accomplished while still wending our way through life?
Please forgive me if this seems insensitive ....
but you are right , and all those questions you have all those things you see and notice..: that's your life, as real as it gets! As I continue my own study ( as I call my path) I had a few of the same question and views you shared. My hope is that thru all my effort here there is an example of possible.
It is possible to find your own answers and when you find them it is to you to figure if you want them or not, he'll I forget a many thing on purpose often! The joy of my jedism is that any one can think for them selfs as often as they want. We encourage it! That's why, this temple, in my option is one of many reasons why it exist. To say yes!
Now personally, myself , I find a difference in things that keep me or things that help me. Find them out for yourself, define your self! Make ... you! Continue ...I should say! You've always been doing It! Keep Seeking! It is in the seeking that we find. The journey!
My the force be with you friend!
Build, not tear down.
I don't think I ever said one shouldn't have goals. I was questioning the wisdom of constantly pursuing goals that have, when you really think about it, shitty rewards.
Is getting pretty women worth the peptic ulcer at 45 and the chronic fatigue up until then? Maybe for some men...
"Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." -Zhuangzi
"We are goal oriented" means that every single thing that we do is associated with a goal. The goal we are pursuing at any given time might have very few practical long term rewards, but its still a goal; theres still a motive behind it and its stil achieving SOMETHING. If i want to sit on the couch and watch tv all day or if i want to stay in bed for the next month, these are still goals. We cant NOT have goals. What we are doing right this second is pursuing a slew different goals that exist at different levels of our personal experiences.
Goals and motives are essentially the same thing, but theres reasonable distinction to be made between them. "Goals" in the strictest sense are consciously chosen aims and outcomes, whereas "motives" also includes deeper level motivations that we may be pursuing without fully acknowledging at the conscious, articulated level.
Again, we are always pursuing some motive even if we dont realize it. Which means we are always directed towards some goal. Its good to know that because sometimes we can benefit a lot from honestly asking ourselves what it is we are really after in this current situation.
Our goals have to change as we move forward because circumstances and resources are always changing. Smart goals are the ones that not only get you sommething useful but also set you up for going after another level of new goals: get a job to get a car to get a better job to buy a house to get married to have a family and in all that save up enough money to be able to retire. Not that you have to follow that exact formula, the point is that intelligent goals typically result in a tangible improvement or increase of some kind.
Personal power is the ability to achieve goals.
Wisdom (to a great degree) is knowing what goals to pursue.
We are powerful or not based on what we are capable of doing. You can build up your personal power one step at a time by setting and accomplishing intelligent goals. Is it important to be powerful? Well, its important not to be powerless, that is certain.
We can gain wisdom by honestly examining and recognizing ours and other peoples motives and goals and their consequences. Especially being able to draw our (and others, sometimes) deeper motives out into full awareness, and then shifting and adapting our goals as we learn and grow as individuals.
I know; you were talking about "the Rat Race", not simply "goals". Im saying all this because i want to express the point that the rat race is simply an environment, its not a destiny. You can choose your own way within that environment that is meaningful, and without having to dedicate yourself to something that you dont believe in. But dedicate yourself to something, and be willing to take the knocks and the faliures and to do all the hard, tedious work that comes with it. Theres no way out of hard, tedious work, but claiming a real life path and sticking with it is the one single most empowering thing that a person can do for themselves.
There are many elements to our cultural environment that are actually pretty great, like electricity and running water and gym memberships and the internet and driving and having schools and hospitals and scuba diving and go karts and animation and rock and roll etc etc. you fill in you own favorites if those dont appeal to you.
There always the random chance that even if you do everythig right, the universe will eventually crush you in a moment of bad luck. Thats possible and even plausible. But its also possible that it wont. And its very plausible that even if it does, you have a lot of time between now and then, and that the quality of that time is going to be determined by the quality of the goals that you pursue.