The Quantum Karateka

…step outside the dojo.


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A stream of consciousness

I can’t believe it’s been a year since Grace died. A year and 17 days to be exact. It still sorta feels like it was recent. Like, Really? A whole year has passed since then? Wtf? Still reading the Einstein biography. There is no absolute time. No “God’s clock”. The metric of time is an illusion. Helpful yes, for meetings and business and such things. But one year ago, one day ago…what does that look like on the clock of the universe? A blip. A flash. Poof. Gone. We’re here but for a moment. All we ever have is right NOW.

I’ve been so engaged with the schedule I now have that I haven’t had the “time” to sit down and blog. “Accumulating positives” my therapists call it. This is my pleasurable moment of the day. It’s Friday. I’m clean and showered and off from a hard day’s work. I’m grateful for this moment. Typing these words. It’s been really hot the past couple days. Wonderful Southern California fall weather. Yeah right. I can’t say I miss Detroit snow or Seattle rain though, so….again, I’m grateful.

Today and yesterday I was listening again to Eckhart Tolle’s CD “Finding Your Life’s Purpose”. Primary purpose: Am I still breathing? Good. Secondary Purpose….I don’t remember him actually touching on that secondary purpose actually. I wonder if secondary purpose has anything to do with the work we do; the jobs we have? But yeah I like how his talk is counter-intuitive: Great! We get to find out how to discover our life’s purpose! What? Am I breathing? Of course I’m breathing. Wtf? You mean my purpose is to be here now, in this moment? That’s my purpose? No! I don’t wanna be sitting here. I wanna be somewhere else doing my purpose! You don’t surely mean to imply that my purpose is simply to exist do you? To be alive? What???

I’ve also been reading Studs Terkel’s Working. A really great collection of individual voices of people talking about what they do for work. Thought I might find some inspiration/insight into my own search for meaningful work. The book opens with a great interview with a steel mill worker by the name of Mike LeFevre. His frustrations and musings are so palpable and contemporary for me (the book was published in 1972 mind you), it makes me want to scream in exasperation every time I hear a presidential candidate talk about “Jobs, jobs, jobs”. Dude. Let’s talk about what James Boggs’ said already: A job ain’t the answer. Why? Because jobs are not sustainable. Why are we the only species on the planet standing in welfare lines? Have you ever seen a bird standing in a free worm line? Obviously, what we’ve conceived of as “work”, for the most part, isn’t actually work. It’s mindlessness. Mindlessness geared towards accumulating money/property/wealth/material goods/etc. Towards the accumulation of shiny things. This is nothing new here, I know. We have a materialistic society. We value things. Not people. Not our environments. Not the sky, land, or sea which allows us to exist. We value things. What? Mindlessness. Are you breathing? Yes. I am alive. All we ever have is right now. Neither past nor future exist. They are conceptions. There is really a portal into revolutionary solutions there. Into the Now. Our present moment. Alert presence. When you are in this state, you are slower, more careful, more deliberate. You stop often. You notice just how much is going on around you, where before it was just autopilot, a blur, background noise, static. It’s funny: around my area here you’ll see people standing out on street corners, dressed in their Sunday best, with bibles to give out, waiting to give you the “good news”. What if you had a guy/gal sitting at a table there, on a street corner with a banner or sign that read: “STOP. BREATHE. REFLECT.” haha. That’s it. No political or religious or other organizational motivations. Just a reminder to be more fully human. Question: What is the opposite of a terrorist? A terrorist brings death and destruction as a means to understanding God. This is insane and twisted. What is someone who brings awe and wonder and a sense of aliveness? I think that is the revolutionary task of the artist.

– QK