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Posts Tagged ‘Lawyer’

So I was considering what to do with my job situation. I asked my supervisor for an opinion in order to strike up a conversation to keep the lines of communication open in case I wanted to sign another contract with them. Also, I needed to know something about the number of vacation days on the contract which, as it is written, is quite ambiguous. Depending on the interpretation of that, I was ready to sign up again immediately.

She was initially almost in tears asking me if I was going to marry my girlfriend. This threw me a little off, because I thought my supervisor had gotten over her attraction to me and just considered me a friend. I made a pretty dismissive comment about the idea in order to calm her down and then proceeded to talk to her about the amount of vacation time I would have.

Now, I’ve been in friendly enough terms with my supervisor that she already knows I want to take a ten day Vipassana meditation time. Also, she knows I was speaking with a Zen teacher a well. What was interesting was the amount of condemnation she ended up heaping onto my wanting to do these things. She is, herself, a Buddhist and had scheduled a meeting with a famous teacher on the South of the island during Chinese new year. Instead of attending the meeting, she cancelled it and rode horses all week long.

Now, what’s interesting is the elaborate reasoning she comes up with about my spending time meditating. The thing is, she does it in a way that appears quite well-meaning, and remarkably sincere. Her favorite is, “you probably already have the answers” to which I responded, “yes, perhaps, but I am looking for a teacher or some time to spend to help me see them for what they are” and she goes on that I’m impatient (to which I respond, I’m not hurting to wait, but I’m also not trying to waste any time) or that I’m being selfish (to which I respond, I am kind to others, but it seems that if I’m completely lost, I may not even know what kindness IS) or that I think too much (but anyone whose spent time meditating has discovered that yes, you think WAY THE FUCK TOO MUCH, and meditation is the only hope you have to get that chatter to cease)….

How sincere and reasonable she is in all this, enough that I found it unsettling. Mind you, it didn’t seem like “attacks” or anything at the time. I am sure that in her mind, it’s all kindness and “realistic” ways of thinking of things (as if pragmatism demands selling one’s soul to join some world of conformity). I was thrown off by all this until I remembered the beginning of the conversation. Then I remembered that she is in love with me and wants me to stay near her, and every things she says is to serve that purpose. Does SHE even realize this?  My guess is no.

Pretty much everything is a tactic, a ruse, or a strategy. Even being honest just gives one a personal sense of justification, and a socially granted one as well. Ghandi, along with plenty of Jewish scholars and Christian theologians, pointed out that Jesus’s ideas about turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, and giving someone who sues you for a cloak, your shirt along with it might have been very strategically useful for the oppressed Jews of his time. I’m not saying that it’s ‘wrong’ in any sense, to use whatever method one feels is most congruent and effective in order to finish a task, I’m just saying that it is what it is.

I teach kids. I see this every day. Doing well on a test gets appreciation and acceptance from teachers and parents, and a boost to mood and feelings of personal security and well-being. 99% of my kids don’t give a shit about learning ENGLISH per se. When someone sees a reason to learn it, like my student who loves computers and noticed that the BIOS is always in English, my job is easy and they learn quickly. Until they get inspired, I just manipulate social cookies to coerce and convince them to do what I want them to. It’s a sickening game sometimes.

“Following the rules” may be anything from a way to manipulate others into giving one what one wants to a way to feel justified in self-pity when things don’t go one’s way. “Nice” is a nice way to create a reality that believes oneself to be a “good person” or some such crap. At the worst, ones self righteousness is a game to build ones own ego without reproach because you can threaten anyone that gives you a well-deserved ass kicking else with state violence. The thing is, I’ve played all these games, and I watch kids do it, and I watch people do it, and I’m sick and fucking tired of it, in myself more than anybody else!

So, it’s hard as fuck to know what I’m doing right now. I’ve looked inside myself and seen the same thing. I, yes I, use an immense amount of sincerity as a means to an ends… I use a ‘pragmatic approach’ sometimes, or a ‘ruthless’ one, or ‘the one that fits the situation’ but it all seems to be ego-gratifying as well as basically self-serving WHATEVER I do. What I would give right now to know my own truest intention!

From a standpoint of innocence and pure intention, means is irrelevant. You are always choosing means anyways, to serve whatever intention you have. And until I am coming from a standpoint of innocence and pure intention, even honesty is a lie.

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One:  You weigh out all the positives and negatives.  You try and figure out which decision is best.  My problem with this, aside from the fact that it’s a rather dry way to live a life, is that I cannot juggle so many variables.  In other words, when I’ve tried to make choices this way, I often find that my assumptions are flawed, or there were aspects of the choice I couldn’t forsee.  Also it’s pretty common for a situation to change drastically, after which all my previous reasoning can be totally useless.

Two:  You pick a path that has a strong “charge” that gets you excited, where your emotions are buzzing and you feel a ton of anticipation.  While this can seem like a better way to live, it requires that I totally gloss over the fact that the “charge” I feel in a particular direction might be attributable to my own neuroses.  Remember rule number one, everyone is wounded.  This applies to me too.  Following an emotional charge in this way is how most people end up in the same relationship again and again and again.

Three:  You choose based on the aesthetics of a particular way.  In other words, a path appears to be the most beautiful, or the most powerful choice.  I rate this method higher than the first two, however there are still a few big problems with it.  First, if many paths have the appeal of beauty to them, then I am left with no way of choosing.  Secondly, this method is still prone to the same objections as the other two.  It could appear beautiful to me because my habits of aesthetic are locked into some unhealthy patterns, or I could rate something as beautiful and have accounted for its qualities in error.

I have spent my life making choices based on combining these three approaches.  And in so many instances, many of my choices were no better than a coin flip.  Worse, in a lot of cases I was committed to paths because of my own emotional wounds that generally produced worse results than a coin flip…  as in the case of getting myself into the same relationships or the same situations over and over and over again.

Following the heart seems to be the core of the two religions I’m most familiar with, Buddhism and Christianity.  It’s also advocated by great warriors of history.  Simply put, if I am certain I am taking the path that my heart truly wants, then I cannot be deferred, and mundane factors simply don’t matter to me (and there are such hardships in any path in life — probably more so in many purely chosen paths).  Moreover, even if I’m killed or otherwise prevented by circumstances, I’m still following the truest path I can take.  In other words, that kind of clarity is impossible to defeat.

I mean, put simply, if you know damned well you are truly following your heart, are you going to be deterred?  For me it wouldn’t matter if I knew I was supposed to go to India, to the place where mother Theresa did her work and just spend my life there, or if I were to become a lawyer or a forestry service officer or a teacher.  Given real clarity in the matter, most of the fears that drive everyone’s choices become irrelevant.

Yet the art of finding such clarity is hard to develop!

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Inevitability

“If, when you enter battle, you see your opponent is already dead, then victory is inevitable.”

“When someone blocks your moves, they’re just showing you the detours you need to take to get to your target.”

—TaiRuiKe, Senior School Brother at the School of Cultivation and Practice (wujifaliangong.blogspot.com)

For many years I have wanted to become a lawyer.  I spent time with a nice lawyer, who took me under his wing when I was a teenager, and learned that I loved the negotiation aspects of it.  I participated in U.N. simulations to increase my debating skills.  I majored in Sociology because it’s a reasonable precursor to a law degree.  I studied aspects of law on my own time.

Then, years passed and I was just floundering, wondering what I wanted to do.  I liked teaching English.  I was still interested in law.  I thought maybe I should be a bioenergetics therapist or a Rolfer.  I felt adrift.  I waffled a lot.  Years of working and going to college, helping my family and dealing with my own bullshit, and I’d lost my own compass.

Lately, with the help of some friends and some honest introspection, I remembered the truth that drives me to want to be a lawyer.  When I looked inside, I realized I want to help people in those ways that only a lawyer can.  I want to help the guy whose getting screwed by the insurance company.  I want to help the lady that’s getting discriminated against by her employer.  I want to help the stupid kid that’s about to have his life ruined because he got caught with a half an ounce of marijuana.  I want to do so skillfully and powerfully, with compassion and kindness towards my clients.

As soon as I really felt the truth of the matter, a lot of other stuff ceased to be important.  The fact that I am only moving towards what is true for me makes success inevitable.  My feeling that “time was catching up to me” went away.  I know I will succeed, so there is no pressure as to “when.”  My selectivity in colleges changed from wanting a place with prestige and with the most recruiters for big law firms that pay a lot, to caring about where I will receive good training and an environment where I can study and master the law.

Pressure about “when,” appears to be nothing but a way to waste time.  I think a lot of decisions made based on those pressures are precisely the decisions people regret later.  Better to take the time and effort to discover authentic truth now, than at 45, with more than half of a “settled for” life behind me.  When I make friends with one of those people, in law school, who came back at 45 or later (and those people exist), I’ll buy a drink and say sincerely, “you’re my hero.”  Compared to the masses who waste their whole lives not in service of their hearts true desire, those older students slaving away are far better off.

In fact, it’s not even specifically necessary that I pursue it through law.  I choose that method simply because law is within the range of things I can be most excellent at, things I enjoy, and is a powerful method of helping people.  Now every movement feels like an opportunity for cultivating skills to be a better student of the law and a more skillful lawyer.  Indeed, everything in my attitude has changed because I know that I am pursuing what’s True for me and I feel that Truth is inevitable.

This all reminds me how much I love and cherish authenticity.  I am wondering now if I can bring this same Kung Fu, of doing what is deeply truthful, into the rest of my life.  Specifically, I would like to have the courage and integrity to approach my romantic relationships in this manner.

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