Efforts

When children have trouble learning, it is rarely because they are intellectually incapable., it is often because a one-size-fits-all educational process does not support their unique ways of learning. A system that requires them to fit a culturally expected norm, and often defeats them when they do not fit, delivers another blow to their faith in themselves. I suspect that many children who excel and are rewarded with good grades and special honors do so more as a survival reflex than because they experience a real joy in learning or because their souls are rejoicing at finding the support they need to express their innate genius. In any case, children subconsciously learn that they are valued for what they achieve and how they perform, not for whom they are. Once again the message, at least subconsciously, is “You are not sufficient as you are.”

Richard Moss in The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness


After all, you are what you are every moment of your life, but you are rarely conscious of it, except, maybe, at the point at awakening from sleep. All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever-present fact. The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contract with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognizance, and grow into a centre of love in action. ‘I am’ is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree — quite naturally without a trace of effort.”

 

Nisargadatta Maharaj in 'I Am That' Freedom from Self-Identification


New Humanist: Federico, what are you trying to say in your book by comparing work to religion?

Federico Campagna: When I first moved to Britain from southern Italy, I noticed this strange attachment to work, which contradicted the image I had of Anglo-Saxon rationalism. Instead of the activity of work being efficiently aimed at something, it was going round in a circle. People kept working overtime and I kept wondering, “Why do they do that? They are not going to get any praise, they are not going to get any money, they’re actually damaging their lives, so why do it?”

I noticed there was a religious element, in the sense that work gives you something that nothing else does, which is that you became part of something bigger than yourself. You sacrifice your life, but what you get is somehow immortality, you become part of capital, part of the nation, part of the everlasting glorious community, and so on.

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