The 77% Weekly



The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter


October 2006 – Issue 32/40


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Greetings!

The 77% Weekly:
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Universe Job Survey
 

My friend Ed forwarded me
the following slogan that he saw on a bumper sticker:
Many people want to serve God,
but only as advisors
.

This
got me thinking . . . it’s in all of our best interests to
remember that it’s not our job to manage the
universe.

So, if we aren’t here to advise God, what
is our job?

Here’s a way to think about answering
that question.

Imagine for a moment that the
universe was your employer.

Based on the way you
actually live your life — not on how you wish you did — how
would you answer the following questions on The
Universe’s Job Survey
:

  • What is your job title?
  • What department do you work in?
  • How
    high ranking are you in your department?
  • Do you
    have a job description?
  • Does your job have fixed
    hours or benefits?

The idea of a taking a
personal inventory is as old as religion itself. (* — see note below.) I encourage you
to take 10
minutes to answer the above questions as best you can.

Taking The Universe’s Job Survey will
teach you a lot about yourself and it is just as important as
anything else you could spend 10 minutes
doing.

But, it’s just an idea unless you actually do
it. Choosing not to participate in a personalized religion
exercise is like trying to make music by reading a book
about playing the piano.

So, based on the way that
you live your life, how would you answer?

Answers:



(* — Note)

Moral inventories
are a hallmark of many religious traditions. (Please note,
these inventories are not supposed to be done with severe
judgment. They are supposed to be an accounting —
something to help you know what is going on inside your
soul.)

Jewish tradition calls its version of The
Universe’s Job Survey
Hesh’bone
Ha’Ne’fesh
— an accounting of the soul. (The literal
translation accounting of the soul slightly misses the
mark. A Hesh’bone is more like the check you ask
for at the end of a meal, but the translation check of the
soul
, sounds a bit dorky.)

Muslim tradition
suggests a similar accounting process and calls it Jihad Bin
Nafs
. First and foremost, this is really what the word
Jihad means — a struggling with the soul — a
personal inventory. (Note: the trilateral root of the Arabic
Jihad is the same as the Hebrew Israel — to
wrestle or struggle with.) Second, the Hebrew word
Ne’fesh and the Arabic Nafs are one and the
same — a soul or a breath.

12 step work calls this
the fourth step: Made a searching and
fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

With love,

And, if you care to, click here to see comments on the streetprophets site where the
article went up previously.


Rabbi Brian’s Answers
 

a 10 minute answer to the Universal Job Survey

I work as a rabbi in the department of
human resources. Those I work for are proud of what I do —
encouraging me to be more creative and even to expand and
hire a staff.

My job description mentions the
phrases “do that which is right” and “be compassionate.” The
hours are flexible, but I tend to work more than is good for
me. I don’t enjoy my benefits as often as I should, alas, due
to the over working.


Follow-up Questions. . .
 

Follow-up 1:

If you don’t like
your current job, what job do you wish you had?

(My friend Brandon told me he was hoping for a job as an
oak-tree shade tester.)

How do you imagine you
could go about changing departments?

Follow-up 2:

Which departments do you think rate
the highest in job
satisfaction?

Which department do you think gives
its workers the best benefits — and what are they?

Do you think there is a correlation between
benefits and satisfaction?





With much love,


Rabbi Brian

Religion-Outside-The-Box

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