Monday, February 09, 2009

Your Career/Life Goals as your Spirituality

Although the thread title has an obvious implication, I'm not actually intending to ask how your spirituality effects your careers or your goals. In this instance, I'm interested in asking whether anyone feels as though their career itself functions as something spiritual or *equivalent* for them.

A long time ago I saw a poster - I want to think Jenett, but I could be wrong - remark about finding a path, that you should look at those already on the path, and think about whether you want to become more like them.

I've recently embarked on a doctorate level degree programme. It's something I'd thought about in the past, but I'd always shot myself down: 'There's too much competition in academia,' 'you're not at a high enough level for this work' etc. It took a long time for me to decide that I could do this, or at least give it my best shot.

Now, I don't believe in deities, or magic, or spirits. I don't feel like academia is 'fated' for me, or that it's in my 'nature' to do this. It just feels like a very good fit for me, and I feel like I'm waking up. I'm having experiences that change me, so that I feel like I'm becoming part of the academic field I'm interested in. Now, where a religious or spiritual experience might be something like hearing the Voice of God, or some moment of clarity, my experiences are more on the lines of discussing theory with my peers, and enjoying being around people who share my values and aims. And of course, the feeling of becoming someone different, whom I want to be.

It strikes me that this is the kind of thing that many people talk about in terms of their religion and/or spirituality. Where I don't have either of those, I still find myself appreciating some of those experiences, even if the target is different.

So, is my attitude towards my life and occupational goals just because I'm an atheist and have no religious comparison? Does anyone here who regards themselves as religious or spiritual have a similar feeling towards their own occupation/ life goals?

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