Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Have Recently

I have recently read Sir Kenneth Robinson's book The Element. The Element, in Robinson's words is, "The meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion." The book is, in many ways, a direct call to listen to the lion, to be exactly who you are regardless of anyone else's opinion, judgment or limitation.

It is a further re-use of Joseph Campbell's dictum to follow one's bliss.

It is hard to argue against it, but I will anyway.

It is not the idea behind the book that I'm arguing against, in fact, just the opposite. I so believe in the idea that its representation in the book runs to dangerous inadequacy because its examples are of the rich and famous, because it places a premium on what one does for a living instead of how one lives.

Though its intention was noble - the book is an exhortation to be one's self - I can't shake the feeling that a further fucking is in store for the fucked who read it. Another marker of the fucked (I really should start keeping track of these things) is the endless comparison between themselves and the seemingly unfucked.

Imagine you are fucked. See it. See how fucked you are. Now see someone who is unfucked. Someone you know. Some one you don't know. Some one from history, just see someone. Got it? If you are fucked you'll focus on your inadequacies and not on their inspiration. The famous are worst of all because their money and fame act as proofs of their unfuckedness.

Fuck that.

Robinson makes great use of Paul McCartney's story as proof of being in one's element. Fine. But is that helpful to you if you are fucked - to compare yourself to one of four men who re-wrote modern music 40 years ago and changed the fucking world because of it?

Fuck, no. Fuck that.

Robinson's book speaks only to the products his examples create. And that is important, no doubt, no argument, but the larger picture, the one that matters to the fucked is how one lives - not what one does for a living.

Yes, who we are economically plays a massive role in our lives, but if you reduce your Self to money only then you are fucked. If you ignore the reality of money then you are fucked. The unfucking comes when the economics serve and support the Self.

* * *

So, yes, please, find your element. But don't confuse money for being unfucked. How you go about your life day to day, moment to moment, the opportunities for choice that fill your life, that is the truer element. History seems easy or inevitable after the fact. It is a different thing while it is in process and that process is all we get to work with. To get yourself unfucked you have to be awake to your own potentialities, your own innate unfuckedness.

Read all you want about the famous, but they, like you, are more than the sum of their works. How did they live is a better question than how much do they have in the bank. You can work at any job/career/position if that gig supports your larger vision of what your life is about.

The element is choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment