Thursday, June 5, 2008

Passion: Are you getting the five finger discount on life?

A quote to start out from Swami Jnaneshvara: Desire without passion is empty. Passion without desire is the means to Freedom.

My thoughts are floating around the idea of passion today. I look around me and often see people divided into two groups. Those of us who have found a passion for something in life and are following it to the bitter end and those of us who are still looking around for theirs and are kind of floating aimlessly. And it's funny how finding that passion can change a person, make them look a little shinier and braver.
For the rest of us I question why it's not that easy. I can think of a couple reasons. Maybe we're looking in the wrong place or maybe we're narrowing our focus too much and missing the obvious signs. Or maybe we do know what our passion is except that it's not a good passion by society's standards. Maybe we feel our passion is not important enough or maybe it's not normal in society's books, so instead you just keep looking.
Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati says:

There may be many things you want in the external world, but here you want to have a key principle that you, yourself are seeking at the deepest level of the inner chamber of your heart. It needs to be your word, not just that of somebody else, not something that was read in some book, or is popular in the culture....
...Choose a keyword for yourself, some word or phrase that really captures the spirit of what you are longing for. It's probably hidden deep in the inner world, underneath all of the seemingly countless other desires and words that have been programmed in as acceptable, proper desires. It's a longing that has been there a long time, a very long time. It was probably there in early childhood. It was with you in adolescence. It is still there. But what do you call it? What is that single word or phrase that draws you back to that felt longing.

That makes it seem so simple, to find one word. But the funny thing is that I knew what the word was when I really thought about it and it makes sense when I start to organize my life around it.
I think it's easiest when your passion is commonplace, but even then there's the challenge of the things in life which must be compromised for it.
All of it relates back to my Asteya practice of not stealing from myself the opportunity to do what I want to do. Hope you're not stealing from you.