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Wearisome Unproductive Work

Wednesday October 6 2004 07:52 IST

By Karmayogi

Any work profits someone. Man is interested only in the work that profits himself. He likes work that gives satisfaction, in which he is directly interested. Beyond this known phenomenon lies a vast, dark ocean of life’s reality. There are unproductive works.

They are wearisome. They are done in offices where form is maintained for form’s sake. Such a work is given to a man as a punishment. Even such work has a meaning, 1) for very meaningful people, and 2) people who are below the meaningless majority. That is the zone of rituals. We call them thankless jobs.

Man has two levels of personality, surface and depth. The surface progresses by doing work in which one is interested, the depth progresses by doing unproductive, thankless labour.

If we divide men into three categories, 1) cream, 2) average, 3) below average, the average progresses by doing the work that is interesting. The unproductive wearisome thankless labour comes as an opportunity to the cream as well as the below average man.

What we call surface and depth is called in philosophy as consciousness and substance. Even in the substance there is a consciousness. This wearisome work awakens the consciousness in the substance, thus making a greater, wider progress possible.

There is divinity in drudgery. The variations of this rule apply to a very intelligent man working for an idiot, a cultured, sophisticated wife submitting to a boor of a husband, an honest resourceful manager working for a crook of an employer or a leader of a party.

By extension, the cream of the population of nations is often under unprincipled, self-seeking leaders of the society or government. To us, to our ordinary human vision, one is an angel, the other is a devil. In the eyes of God, there is no Devil, there is devilish work to do.

The average man will not come forward to do it happily. Hence, it comes to the top layers of the society. They can have the sensitivity to appreciate the subtle truth behind. For the same reason in the reverse, it goes to the insensitive who is not aware of what he is doing.

In the lives of some leaders who become great in their later life, such a long period of gestation is often seen. They may reap the result, but may not be aware of the wider purpose or the process by which they arrived at such a glory.

This phenomenon is widespread in yoga. As yogis never keep records, we seldom know it. The majority of them are not known to the public because they do not succeed in this life. Or their yogic success is not meant to be known by the public.

The world outside knows very little about the Science of Yoga. Sri Aurobindo once said that his biography could not be written by others, as his life was mostly inside.
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