Monday, November 1, 2010
Life At Work, Part 2
Chaos and Alchemy. Two STRANGE words indeed. Sure, you've all heard of chaos before. Chaos is when you have a HOT date and your hair doesn't fall just right and/or you notice a ZIT on your face (it wasn't there before). But what about Alchemy.
Alchemy is one of the central themes throughout Thomas Moore's Life At Work. He intertwines the alchemistry of work life throughout his 188 page book. Before moving forward to delve into Moore's Alchemy, let's shoot for an understandable definition.
Alchemy: - is both a philosophy and an ancient practice focused on the attempt to change base metals into gold, investigating the preparation of the "elixir of longevity", and achieving ultimate wisdom, involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of several substances described as possessing unusual properties. Alchemy is the science of understanding, deconstructing, and reconstructing matter, although it is often seen only as the pursuit of turning common metals into gold. A scientific theory says that if Alchemy is stopped in the process of deconstruction, the object will be destroyed. (source: Wikipedia.org)
Ok, now that we've gotten that straightened out, let's move on. "But wait, I hear you screaming..." while scratching your head. No worries; later for this rocket-science-out-of-this-world-magic-trick-stuff. All that you and I need to know is that alchemy is a mixing and separating of things and thoughts in order to create something uniquely new.
Back to Life At Work. Moore uses alchemy as both a resource and definition as well as a literary prose (writing) style. Life ain't Easy and neither is Work (hmm, that could be a great book title for either Mr Moore and/or this Writer).
The approach that Moore takes to dissect the dissonance between the two, is to inject as well as project Alchemy into the mixture or equation. Because, neither work nor life is a simple packaged one-size-fits-all. Further, by combining both Life and Work into a single concoction...well, let's just say that there ain't any magic blue pill or silver bullet to make it all good.
Chaos is a whole 'nother slice of cake within itself. Chaos is non-order; misalignment and non-organization. Yet is possesses the seeds of order...the seeds of greatness lies within this Chaos of things. Dr Wayne Dyer refers to this phenomena as Dharma and/or The Tao Te Ching. Chaos appears on the surface as misfortune or Bad Luck. It is undeniably uncomfortable and downright painful.
Moore suggests in Life At Work that only IF we could see beyond this chaos. He describes it (Preface) as an Opus of the Soul. Opus means A Work--used interchangeably as a lengthy musical piece or composition. Moreover, Alchemy and Chaos are both temporal (temporary)...as is human existence itself.
Whether we are comfortable or Fitted to the work we're into, the alchemy and chaos will certainly unfold. Just as the 4 seasons come upon us; just as the clothing fashions of the times change--so goes our life at work. The pattern is individualistic; no two alike chaos for any two like human beings. "Like Sand in an Hourglass, so Goes the Days of our lives (Ed Prentiss-Days-Soap Opera; source: Answers.com).
Without going off the deep end, into a tangential abyss, think of alchemy and chaos (related to life at work) as the symbolism as represented by the caterpillar and butterfly. The lowly caterpillar longs to fly, but it cannot. It sings, I Believe I can Fly! So what happens next? The caterpillar spins and weaves its cocoon. Before long, through struggle, chaos, and yes...alchemy.
A Beautiful Butterfly is Manifested! Next installment in this series, we'll discuss Thomas Moore's 'Calling.'