Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April fool

Today, I was checked out of the hotel and on my way to the airport, more or less, when I found out business conditions required that I stay in the country for several more days. So I'm unexpectedly still in China, despite the fact that I timed my entire inner clock, all my plans for the week, around going home today.

April fool! One day early.

It was an emotional hump that I needed to get over—objectively, spending the rest of the week here is a considerable sacrifice for me personally. It is, however, what I have to do in order to get business done; and this is the life, for better or for worse, that I chose. It's true that I fell into it to some extent by accident; although fate had a very specific and major part to play in that, so much so that I am sure forces well beyond me put me exactly where I am today.

So the question of whether any of it is accidental is a serious one; probably, on second thought, none of it is... in any event, after three years of being on the serious international business travel circuit, in about 1990, I had a moment on an aircraft in the Philippines where I saw what this life consisted of, and I made a conscious and intentional choice that I could handle it.

Even today, I live with the consequences of that decision. To outsiders, this life of travel to Asia looks exotic, exciting, and enticing, yet for those that do it regularly, it is a difficult condition. One lives in a gilded cage; and I know many intelligent businessmen who eventually begin to see this, once the bars go up.

I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself. I saw that today; and I allowed that dog off the leash for a few moments, so that it could stretch its legs. But it is my responsibility to quickly adapt and find an emotional equilibrium that will allow me to function effectively for the next few days; mostly, I've done that. This is just another condition for me to meet.

About 20 minutes ago, I received an email from a reader who was interested in a wide variety of exercises that involved, more or less, changing who they were, what they were thinking, and so on, in order to see what could be manipulated and what the results would be.

It's interesting that we don't think there is enough strange thought and odd behavior in us to study just as we are; we seem to believe we need to create new and novel conditions in order to find something to study. Much is made, in the Gurdjieff work,  of "special conditions." Artificial circumstances are everyone's favorite for self-study; one goes off to a retreat, engages in silence practices, participates in a work day, this that and the other thing.

All of this after we are firmly told that the whole point of this inner study is to work within ordinary life.

In my experience, seeing how we are in the midst of changing situations and absolutely ordinary events is very instructive, more so than studying the artificial people we invariably become the moment we begin to put on the pancake makeup of the spiritual student.

 That is, anyway, my impression for this evening.


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