Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Irritation

This morning was one of those mornings when events seemed calculated to cause strong reaction in me from the very first moment I walked into the office. One little thing after another of the precise type that sets me off went wrong. Nothing major; let's face it, I, like most people in developed countries without debilitating diseases, money, mental problems, or very annoying relatives, am living a relatively easy, carefree life.

My problems aren't serious. For the most part one might say they are to be expected.

...I don't expect them, however; and of course, as usual, I feel the entire world should arrange itself at all times so as to allow me maximum comfort.

I was forced again and again this morning to confront my own negativity as one little thing after another went wrong. From a certain point of view, it was helpful that this exasperating process began right away. I had to deal with enough irritations to start with that by the time I got to my 10:00 am meeting (on a subject that always raises the local level of micro-managerial nitpicking to new highs) I was almost prepared to be cool, calm and collected.

Well, not quite. One of the consequences of studying ourselves as we are as that we are forced over and over again to see how we are.

And we're pretty irritable, aren't we?

In studying my reactions this morning in the meeting, I found myself firmly in the midst of my perennial urge to make sure that everything that is out of place be put back into place immediately. I somehow invariably want things fixed, and fixed in a hurry. As I grow older I like to believe I am outgrowing this reactive state, but I see the likelihood is I'm not. Not very much, anyway. I seesaw between an inner que sera, sera, and the violent urge to fanatically stamp out inner que sera, sera wherever I find it.

This is one of the great delights of being a Libra.

If we attempt to be more patient, are we surrendering to the evil inner god of self-calming? I don't think so. In the midst of centering the Being between the emotional reaction, sensation, and the rational part of thought--presuming it hasn't tethered itself so firmly to the emotional reaction that it gets dragged off down the inner road to perdition-- I actively see the Holy affirming, Holy denying, and Holy reconciling principles at work. Within them I find a possibility of accepting the conditions, which the denying part of me objectively hates. (My inner commentary during the meeting consisted in part of a heartfelt critique of how utterly, insanely stupid most of what we all do in business is. I think Nicholas Taleb's "Black Swan" brand of cynicism may be infecting me.) By the time the meeting was over, I had managed to extricate myself more or less emotionally intact, that is to say, not seething in a mass of destructive reactions. Even, against all odds, reasonably cheerful.

Time once again to invoke the power of the stupid man's Zen:

"It's not so bad, really."

Love to all of you,

...trees, fruit and so on.

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