Saturday, December 24, 2016

Looking for Something about Life

I think I've always been a searcher, albeit a lazy one at that. A devout - or at least a devoutly aspiring - Catholic in my early days to a lapsed and recoving Catholic in my (gasp!) middle age, I guess I have a pretty sound foundation on the reflective life. Could've seen myself as a Jesuit priest at one time, and certainly investigated Eastern ideas with a silly Keroacian earnestness. Thought at one time I'd be a tai chi master and zen writer hiding out in Southeast Asia, though the depth of my true taoist understanding is more familiar with Benjamin Huff's The Tao of Pooh than it is the actual ways of Lao Tzu. So, yeah, a searcher of "The Way."

Amusingly, I just ran across a new philosopher, guru-type that I'd never heard of before. And I didn't really think that was possible. What do you know about this early 20th century Armenian mystic by the name of G.I. Gurdjieff? Gurdjieff was a proponent of seeking a "unified mind body consciousness," and he believed that man's primary problem is that he exists in a sort of "waking sleep." Amusingly, I learned of this teacher while reading pop culture critic Robert Schnankenberg's wonderfully entertaining book The Big Bad Book of Bill Murrary. Murray, the wildly entertaining trickster prince of contempary Hollywood comedy is apparently a follower of Gurdjeiff-ism, or whatever the idea may be.

There seems to be a lot in this discipline, which has been called "The Work," about the Thoreau-ian idea of "living deliberately." And I've long been in search of the way I can finally start "living the life I have imagined." Of course, this is just one more way of approaching the necessary task of becoming ourselves and creating meaning through daily actions of existence. And, this post hasn't really ended up the way I envisioned it. I just thought it was amusing to run across this new philosophical source, especially because of the place I learned about it.

So, for whatever it's worth, I offer the idea of "Bill Murray-ism."

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