August 20, 2008

Bringing Mysticism to the Office

The following article will appear (in Hungarian) in A Rózsakeresztes Tükör (The Rosicrucian Mirror), the offical newsletter of the Rákóczy Pronaos, a subordinate body of The Rosicrucian Order AMORC.


Have you gotten very frustrated or angry with some situation or other at work recently? Do you have a colleague who really irritates you? Perhaps someone who has decided they are your enemy, and does dishonest or unethical things to sabotage your projects or your reputation? Do you feel you are stuck in a soul-killing job with no chance of moving on to something better? Do you sometimes feel you aren't smart enough, fast enough, young enough, or skilled enough to do your job properly? Are you afraid of losing your job? Do you have troubles communicating with people at work?

Have you thought of applying mystical principles to any of these problems? No? Why not?

Rosicrucianism is a mystical philosophy, but what has always distinguished this philosophy is its emphasis on the need to apply the mystical principles it teaches to everyday life. When the Rosicrucian student looks closely at the challenges his life presents him with, he can easily discover situations that can be positively influenced by employing methods he has learned from the Teachings. He can use breathing techniques to stay calm in times he knows will be stressful. Visualization can attract objects and/or circumstances he needs for his or someone else's evolution. Meditation can bring understanding to puzzles we must always solve to progress in life.

But somehow, it seems more natural to apply these things to our personal lives, to our family relationships, to our friends, and to our home. But where we work seems to be a different matter.

But it shouldn't be.

Part of this attitude is a result of the nature of work ever since the Industrial Revolution. There was a time when one's work was something one inherited from one's family. If your father was a farmer, then you were a farmer. If your father had a trade (blacksmith, shoemaker, carpenter, etc.) then you learned that trade. And work wasn't separated from life the way it is today. Children played at the edge of the fields their parents where cultivating, and when they were old enough, they worked alongside them. The trademan's shop would be part of the family house, and the mother and children would come and go all day long.

Nowadays, we often have the attitude that a job is something we do just for money. It isn't our land we are cultivating; it isn't our goods we are producing in the shop; it's not in our name we are rendering the service. We feel detached from our work. We feel it has little to do with our "real life". We feel it is unrelated to who we really are.

Nonetheless, we spend upward from 40 hours a week at work. We spend the majority of our energy on work five days a week, and we often spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families. And the people we spend time with at work are "real" people. They are souls; sparks from the divine fire, just like ourselves. If we pay attention to them, we will realize that every day at work presents us opportunities to serve these various people, even the ones who are hostile to us. No. Especially the ones who are hostile to us!

Regarded in the right way, we realize that wherever we work we will find challenges that offer us the opportunity to grow as spiritual beings. If we approach work this way, it no longer seems a dreary, boring, tedious place where we feel the life draining from us every hour we spend there. The workplace is transformed, as is our relationship with everyone and everything there.

Techniques for transforming our work experience

One quick way to transform work is to start the workday with an invocation. It can be a very simple invocation (or prayer, if you prefer this word). All it has to do is serve to raise your consciousness and make you aware that the time spent at work is as much a part of your mystical quest as any other part of your life. Here's an example:

Work Invocation
God of my heart:
May the still, small voice within guide my actions as I work today.
May it point out every opportunity to learn new lessons from the situations I encounter.
May it show me every chance to serve that comes my way.
May it help me to engage myself in my work with interest and enthusiasm, and may it help me guard against laxity and apathy.
May I be inspired to do my work with dignity and honor.
So mote it be!

Saying your invocation at your desk, and then spending a minute or two in meditation will make a big difference to the way you vibrate within your work environment. Even if you don't have much privacy, you can still say it to yourself silently and close your eyes for a moment afterwards.

Another technique addresses the problem of being overwhelmed by events at work and not being able to stay focused on the most important tasks. The modern workplace is full of distractions: ringing phones, e-mail alerts, colleagues popping in the door at any moment. It can be difficult to stay on track and do the things we planned. Sometimes we can come to the realization at the end of the day that we haven't done any of the things we planned. We let ourselves get distracted.

In this case, it can be useful to use a little time when we are away from work to project our energy into the future. During a few moments on the weekend, or in the evening, when you are calm and clear-minded, go into your sanctum and picture yourself at work calmly and efficiently performing the tasks you have decided are important and need to be completed. Naturally, you should be specific, and imagine yourself doing only those tasks you want to focus on. Of course it is important to inject emotion into the visualization: feel the joy of accomplishing important work. If you do this a few times before you go to work, you will find that it becomes easier to stay focused on the tasks you visualized, and that the tasks are accomplished more easily. This is an important mystical technique: preparing for stressful situations while we are still calm and clear-minded.

Although our workplaces are filled with electronic communications devices, there is still a place for old-fashioned communication: no I don't mean face-to-face communication, I mean psychic communication. There are various reasons why people in professional situations might miscommunicate. They are distracted by their personal feelings for one another. They're distracted by the pressures of the office. One or more of the people in the conversation are blinded by their feelings of superiority or inferiority. The list could go on, but suffice it to say, there are many reasons why verbal communication isn't always as effective as one would like. For this reason, it is often good to send someone a psychic message before you talk to them. Using the methods taught by our order, you can telepathically tell them the essence of the message you wish to give them days or hours before you say it to them personally (or on the phone, or by e-mail). It is likely they won't consciously recall the psychic message, but when you speak to them, the message will already seem familiar to them, and they will be more likely to understand what you wish to say. And they will be more likely to be receptive to you message, especially if you visualized them as being receptive. And repeating a message psychically after you have spoken to someone helps to make the impression of what you said go deeper.

Visualization can also help smooth out conflict in the workplace. If disharmony arises between you and another person in the workplace, it can be very useful to spend time each day visualizing love, in the form of pink light, emanating from your heart, and surrounding, nurturing and protecting that person. Naturally, it can't only be a sterile visualization: in order for it to be effective, you really have to feel love for this person. That's the challenging part of the exercise. But the results can be miraculous.

Meditation can, naturally, be used as a tool for solving problems one encounters at work. Once you have worked on a problem with your conscious objective mind as far as you can go, send the problem, in the form of a simple question, into your subconscious, and wait for your inner self to suggest the solution to you.

As suggested in the invocation, it is important to see the workplace as a school, just like the rest of life. When difficult and puzzling situations arise, it can be rewarding to ask yourself what the lesson is that can be learned from it. The workplace is especially fertile ground for this, because we are forced by circumstances to deal with things we might isolate ourselves from in home life, and among friends and acquaintances. But at work, you can't avoid them. You just have to deal with them.

Work can be very draining and tiring. Remember the exercise that comes in the very first monograph that every member is mailed? It's a technique for reviving yourself with psychic energy when you are tired. Have you ever used it at work? Why not? And that's not the only technique in the monographs for increasing one's available energy. Perhaps it would be better to use one of these techniques the next time you are tempted to grab another cup of coffee.

The same goes for techniques we learn for staying calm under stress. The techniques are there. We can only blame ourselves if we don't use them.

Conclusion

The workplace is an excellent opportunity to use the techniques we acquire through AMORC's teachings. Applying the teachings counteracts the feelings of helplessness the modern workplace can often impose on employees, by letting us demonstrate that we can have a positive influence on events at work. Not only can they make professional life a bit easier and more successful for us, they also make us more effective members of the teams we belong to, and a source of health and harmony to the entire community we work in.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article! Beautifully written. I love the suggestions you give. I am a member of AMORC and it always helps to be reminded of ways you can put the teachings to work in your life. Thanks for sharing.

anthromama said...

My last job was particularly soul-deadening -- I was a supervisor at a health insurance company, in a department that resolved claim payment complaints from hospitals and physicians. Just before that job, I was taking the calls that initiated the complaints.

Then I started studying anthroposophy. I didn't necessarily apply much of what I was learning to the job directly, but I know that the spiritual insights helped me. I had a fairly long car commute (45 mins. each way) in stressful traffic. One day I decided that I would no longer participate in that stress. I would stay in the slow lane, and just drive at about the speed limit, and not be stressed. It made a huge difference!

And of course realizing that my coworkers were sparks from the divine fire, as you said, helped too.

That invocation is lovely, and certainly could be applied to parenting as well!