Hmm…

March 14, 2011 Comments Off on Hmm…

Maybe I’m at kind of a bad place to read Steering by Starlight, because the author keeps emphasizing how you should only do what serves your destiny. She keeps writing out these exercises that start with something like, “Consider something in your life that makes you feel confined and uncomfortable.” The problem is, right now I always answer, “Finding a job,” which is not something I can steer away from to find my destiny. Then she follows the exercise with, “If your response to the thing you listed is, ‘But I have to do that,’ you need to examine why that conviction is false.” Except I don’t think this one is. I wonder if she ever addresses the fact that sometimes you have to endure transitory confining and terrible periods, even in the service of your destiny, and that it can be right to make a confining choice if you can see your way clear to making destiny-progress. And it is true that your “destiny” might well involve doing some unpleasant things that go against your grain, because that’s the nature of things. If your destiny is to be a music producer, part of the job might entail talking to studio bigshots, which you may hate, but not enough to give up your job. I don’t trust her system not to tend toward “Do what you feel like,” to the exclusion of something that includes unpleasant bits.

For example, I keep coming back to the idea of being a writer/composer/singer, none of which I’m comfortable with claiming for a job yet, and because I’ve assumed I can do all this on the side, I haven’t spent my whole life regretting that I won’t be able to pursue these things. But it does mean that right now I have to look for a job that is not necessarily my destiny, to which Steering by Starlight is advising me to react with horror and haste to change, but dammit, sometimes that’s okay. Beck’s exercises are making me think that I am a relatively clear-sighted person who is more or less aimed at her purpose—they don’t seem to work for me, but I can’t tell if that means I’m awesome or self-deluding.

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