Thursday, March 31, 2011



When the workplace is run in a deliberate, forced way, nothing new can happen there. If you try to force the soul, you never succeed. When I was in Germany my consciousness became intensified and relentlessly active. Consequently, I began to develop a sleep problem. If you are doing physical work during the day, you can survive with very little sleep. If you are doing precise and difficult mental work, you need sleep. I began to have major insomnia problems. After rising, I could work for about an hour, then I was suddenly tired and frustrated. I hated goint to bed at night, and every night I made furious attempts to get to sleep. I tried everything. I remember one night being particularly exhausted and I said to myself: face it, now you will never sleep properly again. You will never have a night of complete rest. You are going to have this problem for the rest of your life. The strange thing was that as soon as I admitted that to myself, withing five minutes I was fast asleep. Over the next few nights my rhythm of sleep returned. What prevented me from sleeping was the deliberate commitment to try to get to sleep. As soon as I let go of the desire to sleep, sleep came naturally.

When the will and the intellect are brought as deliberate forces into the workplace, this only makes that bland similarity even more entrenched. When the imagination, the force of illumination in the soul, is allowed to stir, it opens up the workplace in a completely new way. No-one should be neutral or indifferent to his work or workplace. It is very important for a person to have a careful look at the kind of work he does. He should try to establish whether the work he does and his workplace is actually expressive of his identity, dignity and giftedness. If not, difficult choices may need to be made. If you sell your soul, you ultimately buy a life of misery.

Respectability and security are subtle traps on life's journey. Those who are drawn to extremes are often nearer to renewal and self-discovery. Those trapped in the bland middle region of respectability are lost without ever realizing it. This can be a trap for those addicted to the business world. Many people in business operate only with one sid of their mind: the strategic, tactical, mechanical side, day-in day-out. This becomes a mental habit which they apply to everything, including their inner life. Even though they are powerful people in the theatre of work, outside of the workplace they look forlorn and lost. You cannot repress the presence of your soul and not pay the price. If you sin against your soul, it is always at a great cost. Work can be an attractive way of sinning deeply against the wildness and creativity of your own soul. Work comes to dominate your identity. One of the most disturbing stories in twentieth-century literature portrays the surrealistic destiny of an utterly meticulous and faithful functionary. This is Kafka's Metamorphosis which has the uncanny opening sentence: 'As
Gregor Samsa awoke one morning out of troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.' With deft anonymity, surrealistic detail detail and black humour, Kafka is unequalled in his ability to portray system and functionary.

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