The Wheel of Life: The Work Commitment Does


One of the awareness movement’s greatest contributions to us lies in the rich treasury of distinctions made about our ways of being.

For example, here’s one from John Enright. According to him, we’re fairly predictable creatures. We follow a round of behavior which he called “the Wheel of Life.”

Before I turn to John, I’m down at the Bridge to Now, but I need to mention that I won’t be reporting events.

I’ve found that, if I do, it skews things in various ways and for various reasons. Often the conversations I have to get to know people can be affected by the knowledge that I’m reporting on events.

I may report on what’s occurring for me, but that would be all. I’d like to preserve the integrity and character of the gathering.

At the event, one of the points I’ll be making in my talk on “The Role of Will in Building Nova Earth” is that, for many of us, our will is not really known or active.

Consequently, the way we make commitments depends on our level of interest.

What John pointed out was the variable character of the mind and the predictable cycles it goes through. It’s in the phase of the cycle where we’re not “digging” what we’re doing that sees commitment fail.

In the beginning of the cycle, John said, we (A) do something and dig it. Because we enjoyed it, we do it again and again and again and again until we reach the point of (B) doing it and not digging it.

Our satisfaction would decrease with each repetition until we (C) stopped doing it  were now not doing it and digging it. And thus we would go for some time, until we found ourselves missing the activity. We were now (D) not doing it and not digging it.

At this point we might spin the wheel again, begin anew, (A) doing it and digging it and on and on we’d go.

The problem with this is that it doesn’t lead to strong, enduring commitment.

The role of commitment is to keep us moving forward in line with our promises even if we’re “doing it and not digging it.”


If we’re to be reliable in our work for Nova Earth, we have to be counted on to generate interest in what we’re doing or to persevere anyways through the times of not digging it.  An ironclad commitment is what allows us to keep going.

The strength of our word determines what we’re capable of building. I deem it as a part of being a spiritual adult to be good for one’s word.

Another cut at this is the Buddha’s teaching that all is impermanent – anicca, anicca, anicca. Nothing lasts. Therefore our enjoyment with something also does not last.

The Buddha didn’t say this: But commitment is designed to carry us through the times during which enjoyment has not lasted

 

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