Chop Wood and Carry Water
By: Andee Scarantino
(3 min read)
“The white man fancies himself as a practical person who wants to “get results.” He is impatient with theory, and with any discussion which does not immediately get down to concrete applications. This is why the behavior of Western civilization might be described, in general, as “Much Ado About Nothing.”” -Alan Watts
The most upset I see in a human is the person who demands measurable results.
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want more money.”
“I want more love.”
All the while, people never realize the underlying causes for their excess weight, their lack of money, or their failing love life have everything to do with deep, subconscious beliefs.
Within the realm of our beliefs is our spiritual work.
Put a band aid on one thing and it will manifest as something else. The theme of our life is for learning; we are to be present, and simply be here and open.
We tend to think it’s about achievement, so much so that when Eastern concepts like the law of attraction permeate us, we don’t accept them nobly for what they are, but rather use them as a mechanism to further “create stuff” in a Western-dominated world.
We attempt to attract without ever dealing with the deep-seated inadequacy we feel all the time that resides in our lack; our lack is the only focus we maintain, and it breeds more of itself.
Some of my most abundant moments of the last decade were the ones in the first COVID year, when I had immense gratitude for simply being. I was so grateful to not be dead.
I get lethargic watching people chasing achievement. I’ve never liked it and have always seen it as pointless. I “do things,” but I understand there’s nowhere to go.
While a being will always “do,” there’s no greater point to it. We must do our duty, but people attach to the “outcome” of that duty.
Kabbalah says we have gifts to use that are on loan from the Creator.
One of those gifts, for me, is my voice.
I use my voice because it is my duty, but I don’t attach to an outcome of that usage. I just released my 98th podcast episode. I never once attached to what that podcast would bring me, and for that, it has brought me abundance.
Were I to attach to an outcome, I’d be grounded in a lack of one, and thus, I’d create more lack.
When I use my gift on loan from the Creator, I am doing Karma Yoga. I am doing my duty, as I know it’s my duty, but I am not attaching anything to it or about it. I just do it because that’s what I do.
Essentially, I chop wood and carry water.
Chopping wood and carrying water- it seems frivolous to make it mean more than that, yet the Westerner does.
The Westerner, always living off in a time that isn’t now. Always living with the hope of receiving a nugget of gold, just ignoring the fact that a body is here to be blessed with another day. Always ignoring the divinity in simply existing.
Karma Yoga– do your duty and don’t attach.
The attached Westerner gives me a headache.
Always busy, always moving, always hoping for a “result.”
There will never be one. You’ll die having missed the point.
The Bhagavad Gita, Translation by Eknath Easwaran, pp 99-110
Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity, page 105
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