Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 21, 2007

Weaknesses

I can hear the response from the world at large now: what a bunch of horseshit. First, let me take a moment to be open to understanding that thought came from my brain. In Deepak Chopra’s fictional account of the life of Buddha, called Buddha, Chopra describes Buddha’s thinking as he was plagued by the same sort of defeating thoughts. It was interesting for me to read this account of someone ignoring these thoughts, and being motivated by something different. That felt familiar. Despite the rising of rational thoughts, fears and concerns, like how will I pay the bills? There is not enough scientific evidence in this book. I don’t cite enough (barely any) references in this book. It won’t be taken seriously because it does not propose fact built upon accepted, peer-tested fact. These are some of the thoughts that can go through my mind. Buddha, according to Chopra, thought about the life he had left; a heartbroken wife. A devastated father. A kingdom for which he had been taught he was responsible as the future king. Maybe you don’t see it, but I do, the similarity of thinking. Things we were taught to think. Yet for me (and the fictional Buddha), despite these thoughts we are teaching ourselves to press forward regardless. Press forward toward some unknown calling. I write what feels like truth. There is thought – creative thought that looks for connections, interactions, relationships. These aspects of the writing are tested in my body, with regard to their pertinence and veracity.

Let it be known that this imagined criticism comes from all sides. Yes, the academics won’t think for a second about this book. The scientists either. Members of the green movement may find it too spiritual in nature; not enough environmental science, biology, geology. I pick up Grak Palast’s book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and find my self quickly outraged, grief stricken and angry by reading just a couple of his vignettes. My book will have none of this very true sounding, outrageous reporting. His is interesting stuff, but it makes me feel awful. Isn’t there another way? Is there any chance that the orientation to nirvana that I’d like to think is expressed in these pages will have any effect? Ahh, those rational thoughts again. My brain tells me that there is nothing to be gained with this book, with these ideas. It tells me that they are poorly organized (teetering on gibberish), un-researched and, yes, Polly-Anna-ish.

Now I can add a new item to my list of greatest faults turned into into greatest strengths: well maybe not yet, but it would be a coup – Polly-Anna-ish turned into a strength. That would be a trick. I’d like to see the headline. They won’t run it, probably in the US, but maybe Greg Palast would write about it for a liberal British newspaper: America Turns Polly Anna Ideas Into Strength! Dateline Connecticut: “Readership of the blog and soon to be published book by the amazingly naive title of Abundance, is reaching remarkable heights as the one-hundredth reader has logged on to the website at which author MG Harris is putting the finishing touches on his Polly-Anna-ish non-fiction account of how to save the world. Harris could not be reached for comment, however sources close to him report that he spends his days alternately typing and writhing on the floor in either agony or ecstasy – no one seems to be sure which.”

Secretly, I have already added this apparent weakness as a subcategory of a broader category of weakness I have known about for some time: Idealism. At one time, during my earlier career, I worked as an engineer in the marketing department of a public utility. Automatically, one is impelled toward the thougt of a lost soul simply be trying to imagine an engineer in a marketing department; it rings of oxymoron. I was rather naive going into the job and not a little confused about who I was. Yet, there were aspects of my nature that would seep out around the weird and twisted garments I clutched tightly around my persona. At one point a boss commented that I was idealistic. I immediately took this to be a bad thing. In business, one is pragmatic, results oriented. The bottomline is the bottomline. I spent the next several years trying to accommodate this idealism inside of my striving, fear-ridden, over-desiring, under-achieving lifestyle wondering why things seemed so difficult. My next job put me in contact with a brilliant intellect, a writer and businessman with a amazing technical capacity and sufficient people skill and political cunning to negotiate the halls of a large, corporate energy entity. For a while, he mentored me and told me my writing was okay, that I was able to turn a phrase. But this was business writing, it wasn’t about turning a phrase. It was about organization, facts, research; bottomline. I wondered why it seemed so difficult.

In the current analysis, I am choosing to be in a place that is firmly in touch with my Polly-Anna-ishness, my idealism, and my ability to turn a phrase. It is the energy of these three aspects of myself, that which for a long time was thought to be my greatest weaknesses, that I operate from today. This is an amazing story, if I may say so myself. It is not about whether of not the combination of these aspects yields anything of great fruitfulness. It is about the synergy and the resonance created in my being, of my spirit, when I recognize the power of these three aspects, really just facets of one aspect, my true essence. I believe this essence exists for everyone. I also believe that we are caught up in a culture and in times when it is exceedingly difficult to know our own nature. For me, this operating from my best understanding of my nature is not an end. I may not be operating very successfully, I may not be very well in touch with my nature. Yet there is a profound shift in the manner in which I am operating. It is clear that my journey is now oriented to better knowing and acting on my nature. In addition to the deep inspiration this give birth too, there is profound gratitude, which is a powerful energy itself.

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