Thursday, March 31, 2011



When weariness becomes gravity, it destroys your natural soul protection. It is reminiscent of the myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was condemned for his sin. In the underworld, his task was to roll a huge boulder up a hill. He would painstakingly roll the boulder slowly up and up almost to the summit, then the rock would roll out of his grasp and crash right to the bottom. If Sisyphus could stop and decide never to roll the stone again, he would have peace. He is the prisoner of the futile, condemned eternho ally to begin the same task but never complete it. He has to roll the boulder up the hill eternally in the sure knowledge that he can never get it over the summit. Anyone in the business or corporate work world who remains on the surface of the role, and practises only the linear side of the mind, is like Sisyphus. They are in great danger of a breakdown. A breakdown is often a desperate attempt by the soul to break through the weary facade of role politics. There is a profundity to the human soul that the linear surface of the work world cannot accommodate. When you remain in the rut, you become caged behind one window of the mind. You are then not able to turn around towards the balcony of the soul and enjoy the different views through the other windows of wonder and possibility.

Rapidity is another force causing massive stress in the workplace. Baudrillard, the French philosopher, speaks of the exponential speed of modern life. Where things are moving too quickly, nothing can stabilize, gather or grow. There is a lovely story of a man exploring Africa. He was in a desperate hurry on a journey through the jungle. He had three or four African people helping him to carry his equipment. They raced onwards for about three days. At the end of the third day, the Africans sat down and would not move. He urged them to get up, telling them of the pressure he was under to reach his destination before a certain date. They refused to move. He could not understand this; after much persuasion, they still refused to move. Finally, he got one of them to admit the reason. This African said: 'We have moved too quickly to reach here; now we need to wait to give our spirits a chance to catch up with us.' Many people who are secretly weary of work have never given themselves time, or taken time out or away from work, to allow their spirits to catch up. It is a simple but vital reflective exercise to give yourself plenty of time: leave all agendas behind you. Let the neglected presence of your soul come to meet and engage you again. It can be a lovely re-acquaintance with your forgotten mystery.

The Celtic imagination testifies to a different concept and experience of time. The recognition of presence and the celebration of nature was only possible because time was window on the eternal. Time was never reduced to achievement. Time was time for wonder. This is still one of the charming things about Ireland. People here still have time. In contrast to many areas in the Western world, people here inhabit a more flexible and open time rhythm. The ideology of rapidity and clinical efficiency has not gained a grip here, yet.

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