Friday, July 08, 2005

Follow Your Mind...

Just spent 6 days in Yosemite reading Emerson's essay on Self-Reliance--this is the way to read Emerson (I can now say smugly, after only one essay, never having read Emerson before to my knowledge--I was a psych major, o-kay?).

As far as I was concerned Emerson was speaking directly to me in this essay--in many respects-- particularly in regard to the degree to which the integrity of mind is the only sacred thing.

Lately I have been praying for clarity, particularly in my career and focus. I have been preoccupied by external concerns, why don’t I have an income, a job title, an office; why don’t I have something easy to tell people?

I have been second-guessing my decision to concentrate so almost exclusively on my spiritual growth, on getting to know myself. Reading Emerson, for the first time in years I feel like an unqualified success. I have felt like the young man whom Emerson pities because he graduates from a top school and is lamenting and lamented for having not gotten a top appointment in the right city. Without realizing it, I have been more like the man whom Emerson lauds for fishing, farming, politicking and always growing, learning.

For Emerson, the right city is the city you’re in. The right job is the job you’re doing. Or, more accurately, what matters is not the job itself, but the integrity of mind with which one applies oneself to the job. Are you a cashier at Burger King? Fine. So long as you ring up the fries with integrity or, as Maria Nemeth puts it, “clarity, focus, ease and grace.” Are you the President of the United States? Well, who cares? The question is are you following your mind and true heart, or the mind of someone else, like, say, Dick Cheney?

No comments: