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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Resisting the addiction, compulsion of busyness is a recovery technique much needed in our times.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Resisting the addiction, compulsion of busyness is a recovery technique much needed in our times. We seem to have no positive word for the ...
    Resisting the addiction, compulsion of busyness is a recovery technique much needed in our times. We seem to have no positive word for the practice which opposes this addiction. Its opposite appears to be laziness or idleness. We love efficiency too much to even consider the merits of the Italian phrase, "il dolce far niente," "the sweet doing of nothing." Doing nothing feels like wasting time. Too often in the state of busyness our internal self-talk engine is racing, using up more energy than the actual task at hand requires. Perhaps we need to imagine a version of activity that is vigorous and alert, that is engaging all of us at once. The Buddhist concept of mindfulness, a one-pointed placement of attention, comes closest.
    What we need to resist is the sense of time-urgency and all the internal diffusion of consciousness which is simultaneously thinking of the future, basking in self-importance, and maintaining an illusion of control. All of these internal "thoughts" actually divert us from all dimensions of the present reality. They are literally useless and exhausting, yet somehow we love them although none are necessary.
    Since I began reflecting on this addiction, compulsive behaviour and its effects on me, I have often jokingly acknowledged that I have been too busy to write this post. That, of course, makes for a good joke on myself, but it is not entirely true. The problem is that when I surrender to the addiction of busyness, I am too fragmented or pressured to write an essay such as this. If I have managed to resist this addiction for awhile and I am enjoying the saner, more balanced rhythm to my life, I don't want to embrace the discipline of writing about a habit of the heart I sometimes avoid practising. Yet I also deeply desire to foster those habits of attention in myself that could make a statement of the Sufi masters be true of me: "I went into that marketplace and only God I saw." Now a mid-Eastern marketplace is hardly any less frenetic than Trafalgar Square.
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