Yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble’s bookstore and I ran into a fan who was there with a friend. They were killing an hour before they went off to their pagan gathering. It was really nice to see John as despite our physical proximity we had not really talked in about a year. Now, the important part here was that we were able to catch up on his life – a life I played no small part in shaping – because I talked him out of his “career” in social services that he was heading towards when we first met three years ago. Yes, I talked him out of it, as I try to do to everyone entering the field, and not only was he glad I did, but so have everyone one else I got to before the despair, denial, and self-destruction of being in ‘social services’ set to work on him.
Like many, my not so young friend, was married, with children, and working at a group home, along with the overnights that such a job entails, and was finding it terribly stressful. It was not just the hours, low pay, and seeming sense of lack of appreciation, along with a very narrow career track – it was the parasitical psychic energies that constantly plagued him and his co-workers.
I often suggest to those entering into various field to look at those who have been at it for ten years and ask yourself, “Do I want to be that person?” More often than not, the answer is no. So, that means, change your career path. But before you can do that, you need to know why you are in the position you are in to begin with. With John, it was simple. Like so many others he simply transferred his Roman Catholic guilt into neo-pagan quasi-social liberalism. He also had lost his way. He did not want to be in social services. No, that is where he fell to when he lost his direction and enthusiasm for what he really wanted to do with his life.
Over coffee he told me that he had a wonderful job in sales that he really liked. The hours and pay were good, and felt accomplished with a good product and service. He was volunteering with his regional neo-pagan group, organizing activities, and no surprise – had a new wife.
Why do I write this? Simple. Too many people get caught up in other people’s visions, their ideals, and lose track of their own. These false notions, or notions that simple are not ours, take control of our lives and become a substitute for finding our own meaning in life. These are egregores, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Therefore, it is up to each of us to find our own path in life, to find our own happiness, and fulfill our aims as we see fit.
Be like John, cut the cords that bind you, and find the Path that liberates you.
For some help in identifying your Path, see the works below.
The Four Aims: Jupiter in Daily Living
Voice of Hermes – Lessons from the Path