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Bee Spiritual: High-Stakes Spirituality

Posted Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 12:22 am by kim in Cultural Bees. More in 10014

I went jogging along the Hudson River after work today.  It was a pristine spring evening.  The cherry blossoms were almost shining like the river in the setting sun.   I ran past 125th street and there were some billboards there.  One of them was for a Discovery Channel show called The Deadliest Catch.

Shot from the Deadliest Catch

Shot from the Deadliest Catch

As I jogged past it, I was left thinking that as comfortable and pacified as we typically like to be, what is it about high stakes?  What is it about high intensity, near life or death conditions that get our blood flowing, our minds focused and our potential and creativity flowering?   Why do we love shows like that?

We New Yorkers rarely have life or death experiences, we rarely know what true, high-stake situations are like:  Yea, so I lost a third of my money in the stock market last fall; yea so the subway got stuck underground for 15 minutes; yea so I didn’t process that form at work last week… In the long run and at the end of the day, all of that will be forgotten, the stocks will come back up, the train will move and paper will turn back into carbon and water eventually.  It typically takes conflict — and I am not talking about haggling with the sidewalk peddler over the price of a fake Coach bag. Luckily, I am not talking about a life or death situation either.

I am talking about a serious, high-stakes conflict with our current conviction and relationship to this life we are living because it takes conflict to bring out what we care about, what we think is important and whether or not our moral compass is functioning, or is a bit rusty, or is completely kaput.

I think that we post-modern people actually get bored with life; we get sick of life if we do not seek out a life with high-stakes.  Some people like to gamble lots of money, others like to cheat on their spouses, some like to run marathons, others join the army, others like to sky dive, many like to watch high-stakes television like The Deadliest Catch… but what I am talking about is high-stakes spirituality – an all or nothing, fearless, real, spiritual inquiry into our very own lives.  I am talking about placing ones’ soul, belief and future on seeking for, discovering and then living a profoundly positive and unequivocally free life.

This is a very challenging thing to do because we have been conditioned to love that comfort zone, that numbed out space where not too much is happening at any given time and we can cruise Facebook and catch up on the celebrity happenings and be entertained and well fed and disengaged from too much life.

So this blog is a call to myself and to everyone reading this to wrench ourselves away from the rut we have dug for ourselves, to uproot ourselves from the numbness and from the dullness of a “comfortable life” and deeply question with everything we’ve got… What are we living for?  What really counts at the end of the day?  Do I want to be comfortable and shielded from too much life or do I want to lead a profoundly positive and unequivocally free relationship to life?

I welcome your thoughts and input.

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