work
wo
nk
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ank
bank
bane

Work is how i justify myself to existence
At least according to Them
Internalized as mind
I say
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke
And anyway i'm doing lots
To justify my existence
I guess
I haven't finished working

I'm pretty lazy, or at least that's my self-image. Not entirely accurate when i look at all the things i do to fill my time but quite accurate in the sense that i don't like work, that i have arranged my life – and existence has been kind enough to assist me in this – so that i haven't had to work very much. (This may change and i hope i will be graceful enough to accept such change as the wisdom of existence).

Meanwhile, even as i spend hours a day on this or similar projects – self-expression or self-aggrandizement? and are these different? – i don't call it work. (Nor do i, in the mode of the Ranch euphemism, call it worship). Even the cleaning at the Ranch, or other assigned functions in Pune were not work. My definition of work and the mainstream's definition are quite similar in one important respect: work is what you do in hopes of getting paid. There are of course grey areas, such as artists, who do it both for money or other social coin such as sex or fame and for other reasons beyond social payoff. I want my doing to be as much as possible for other than the social coin, including hopefully at least some doing that is utterly useless, pointless and unproductive. The dark, ultimate implication of exchanging my life energy for social coin is prostitution, doing something i don't want to do solely or mainly because it offers me the means of some security and comfort. Yes, at times we all have to do it, because maybe our minimum security levels won't happen without our effort. But beyond that minimum – which has inflated somewhat as i have gotten older – the social coin has rapidly diminishing value.

Lots of money? Sure, why not? Nothing wrong with money, but at what price? Years of my life and creative energy? No, thanks.

Can they pay me with recognition? Not in the fame sense, nor in the sense of approval, which i have to earn by doing some "productive" work valued by the mainstream. The joke is, the more you look at "earning" social approval, the more indistinguishable it becomes from earning money, for approval is bestowed almost without fail on those with money and withheld from have-nots. Approval is the sound of the Market's "invisible one hand" clapping. Adam Smith rules.

And speaking of Adam Smith: people in the nineties are competing to clamber onto ever-faster treadmills, working two, three jobs just to get enough of that social coin for their minimums, which are way too high in my view. Now there aren't enough decent jobs to go around. That being the case, i see myself as a kind of pioneer in not working: it's a tough non-job, but somebody's got to not do it. In the transition from the protestant workaholic ethic to the leisure ethic, someone has to go first. A small non-step for a man, etc etc. We have created so many labour-saving devices, why not enjoy the time and labour we have saved? Why not just say yes? This is so weird: the whole social structure is organized to make everyone work as hard as they did 500 years ago. A truly dismal example of the non-evolution of our consciousness.

At the Ranch or in Pune, a different game surrounding work was/is in effect. Some of the same elements, yes, especially around approval and authority, are there but since the main dynamic is missing, ie remuneration in the usual social coin, i am free to explore work-related attitudes and issues without that contamination. This is the deal for those who put energy into commune functions as it's currently structured: 1) I do things i feel attracted to do, so my energy is moving in ways that are from the start more likely to bring me joy, or if not, i have mostly myself to blame. It was not always thus. Participating in this way in the past was much more on a surrender and do-what-you're-told basis. Nevertheless, even without the intrinsic benefit of doing what you like, joy often arose, because... well, just because. You had to be there.

2) Inasmuch as it can be explained – and there's a lot that can't be – there is a payoff for this contribution of energy: it provides a way to participate in the buddhafield, a way to explore and expand the ways i relate with people, a variety of mirrors in which to see myself. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a free therapy and meditation group. I also feel i am returning something to the commune, a thank-you to the environment which nurtured me and continues to nurture me by keeping Osho's vision alive and well. This is a win-win situation and participating in a win-win situation justifies my existence.

That's what i say.

(main)