M HIke

The Halloween moon looked cool next to these trees on the mountainside during my freezing, invigorating hike to Bozeman’s “M” yesterday evening. I needed to get some exercise and fresh air after my 2 pound burrito at my favorite Bozeman restaurant, La Parilla.

I finally finished reading Autobiography of a Yogi yesterday, and obtained many new insights and ideas (like the idea to dress up as Cosmic Consciousness for Halloween!). Taking it all with a grain of salt (my experience), I was interested in the concept of India’s banished caste system, and how it relates to my life personally:

“The origin of the caste system, formulated by the great legislator Manu, was admirable. He saw clearly that men are distinguished by natural evolution into four great classes: those capable of offering service to society through their bodily labor ( Sudras); those who serve through mentality, skill, agriculture, trade, commerce, business life in general (Vaisyas); those whose talents are administrative, executive, and protective—rulers and warriors ( Kshatriyas); those of contemplative nature, spiritually inspired and inspiring (Brahmins). “Neither birth nor sacraments nor study nor ancestry can decide whether a person is twice-born (i.e., a Brahmin);” the Mahabharata declares, “character and conduct only can decide.” Manu instructed society to show respect to its members insofar as they possessed wisdom, virtue, age, kinship or, lastly, wealth. Riches in Vedic India were always despised if they were hoarded or unavailable for charitable purposes. Ungenerous men of great wealth were assigned a low rank in society.

Serious evils arose when the caste system became hardened through the centuries into a hereditary halter. Social reformers like Gandhi and the members of very numerous societies in India today are making slow but sure progress in restoring the ancient values of caste, based solely on natural qualification and not on birth.”

My personal take on it is that I see myself contributing in all 4 sectors. I started in my youth as a laborer, and through education, I’ve taken on the second tier with my white-collar job as an engineer/project manager with an oil company. Eventually, I see myself gravitating toward the more contemplative nature, spiritually inspired and inspiring. I believe that when I am ready, I will be a leader, but not until I’ve gained enough wisdom and can consistently be honest and truthful with others and myself. For now, I’ll be content to labor or use my mental skills as I grow in the latter 2 areas.