Why is it that even the, presumably, most spiritually developed people ask you questions, in getting to know you, that are based on social conditioning? I attended a free yoga class tonight, and came back later for the Satsang. The teacher started talking with me, and I believe his first question was, “What do you do for a living?”

I wish this didn’t bother me, but it does. Behind a seemingly innocent question lurk others like, “Why aren’t you married?” “Why don’t you have a job?” and assumptions like “You don’t have a job, therefore you have no social value.” “You don’t have a wife and children, so there must be something wrong with you.”

Maybe I’m wrong here, maybe these thoughts and questions lurk only in my own mind, and never crossed the mind of this teacher. But I guess I expecting something, I don’t know, a little more enlightening. I can’t imagine Thich Nhat Hanh or Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev sitting down for conversation and that be the first thing out of their mouth.

But maybe I’m wrong. We are all human afterall, and all have similar social conditioning, no matter where we live in the world. I guess now that I think about it when you are getting to know someone perhaps this employment question is part of the SOP. Somehow I just have to not let it bother me.

How do I tell people I am not like them, do not fit into any social context, that not only am I not a round peg going into a round hole but I am not any sort of peg anyone would recognize at all! I feel like an alien amongst my own race. How do you tell someone that you have never been a real date, never been married, worked hard all your life at various jobs and even tried college and nothing fit? How do you explain the fact you have no dream, no purpose and no reason to live outside of a newly created desire to just experience life? How do you tell them you used to be chronically depressed, suicidal, angry and 50 pounds overweight? How do you explain to someone how you created a tulpa, fell in love with her, and then had to sever that connection? How do you give words to pain that feels like you are ripping yourself into pieces, and then somehow, gathering up the bloody shreds, and sewing yourself back up again? Finally how do you tell people how you used to be a Christian, but renounced your faith, the same faith your parents still have and your grandparents on your father’s side? How do you express the simple truth that you found religion to be too limiting, and you wanted to take a greater view of life and the afterlife? That you don’t want to be saved, and have come to believe you never needed to be saved in the first place?

Then you sit down, all of this roiling inside you, and more than you can or will say, with someone you were thinking was perhaps a more spiritual person, and they ask you what you do for a living. How’s this for an answer? Experiencing life!

But no, instead I’ll pull a Rumi on you. Next time someone asks me what I do for a living I will say something like this.

“I wake up,
Greet the sun,
Leave the house,
Go to some random place,
And watch the squirrels,
Chase each other up a tree.”


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