The Crafted Life
With self-awareness and sound knowledge as a base, we begin to create the life we intend. Often this involves very small efforts, especially to begin with, but change is actually possible. Then the question becomes - what do we want to change? Often we only replace one habit with another. Real change is only possible within one's self. Attempts to change others are only diversions. To direct our own change, we also need to understand the world we live in.
The role of craft in personal evolution has been demonstrated in the Sacred Societies and Guilds of ancient times. These societies had at their heart a greater Sacred knowledge as to how human beings can move into new, higher realms of existence. First someone must want to make that effort. Then they must find their own sources of Truth to bring to bear on their lives. Searching the web has made this much easier today than it was in the past, although the web has its limits in terms of serious study and practice.
Whatever craft or art we practice, we can turn it into our personal spiritual evolution. Here are some simple techniques to get started:
• As you work, mind your attention - see how and when it wanders and where it goes, but without judgement. See that when you lose attention, you cease to be in your work or even present at all. This knowledge will aid you. See how the quality of your work reflects the quality of your Being.
• Set realistic challenges for yourself and make commitments to them. Most of our life is spent drifting and taking the line of least resistance. If we never commit, we never know how we will deal with the resistance and denial, and thus we never know our own potential.
• Study other works in the area of your expertise. Try to determine why you like some and not others. Become aware of your own responses - thoughts, feelings and senses. Thinking is slowest and comes in words; sensing usually relates to tactile or visual response; feeling comes much faster, and only later gets put into words. Try to grasp the fleeting experiences of sensation and feeling and separate them. See if you can give them names. Texture. Brilliance. Coherence. Wonder. Luminescence. Beauty. If you can't come up with names. create similes - blue like slate or like water on a cloudy day, or a feeling like when I miss someone or like my Mother's style.
• Rather than letting your mind wander when you work, use the time to ponder something positive and meaningful to you. Start a diary or notebook that you keep at your work desk to help you remember what ideas you came to when doing this.