When Did Work Become A Curse?
When Did Work Become A Curse? Why is work such a drag for so many? Why is it that Sunday night is a dread in anticipation of Monday morning and why does Monday morning signal the start of another dreary week doing things we don't like doing? This week on The Larb I'm looking at how work became such a curse on so many people, entire societies in fact.
To say that work has become a curse is to imply that somewhere in the past it was a joy. Was it ever really a joy? Who knows. But what we do know now is that most people work at jobs they at best are unfulfilled doing and just about willing to endure, to downright despise. We need to sort that shit out.
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Notes From The Show
I am a regular reader and listener to the material from Alan Watts, the now deceased philosopher and writer. He created many books on eastern philosophy and the role of religion in the development of consciousness in human beings.
I don't always agree with his perspective however I must admit that it's difficult to argue against his ideas. In his recorded seminar in the early 70's I think, he approaches the flaw in the seriousness of how we work.
It tied into many of the ideas that I hold about work and so I thought I'd use this as a place to jump off of in this episode of The Larb.
Watts talks about how work has become a curse on humanity. We have become too serious about the roles we play and the work we do and as such we have sterilised the very thing that we are supposed to achieve joy from.
To say work has become a curse implies that at some point work was a joy. Now, I'm not too sure about that. It seems that this idea is a little idealistic.
Work In A Pre Industrial World
Before the industrial revolution and the eventual commoditization of almost everything, people worked the land. Instead of being what I describe as pawns for the machine, people worked for their basic needs.
Maybe they produced enough to trade locally but that was as far as it went, at least for the majority.
Businesses were small, cottage type enterprises where most people's work contributed directly to the upkeep and sustainability of the local community.
That's not to say all of this was utopic, there are always challenges no matter what scale we operate at. So there were bound to be people who worked in jobs they didn't like.
It's my guess that this has always been the case. Only in this modern age I reckon it's a little more pronounced and acute or even chronic.
Long story short I believe that our widespread problem with work is our attitude and approach to work. What it has become is a means to an end, a vehicle to get us to a better future.
This in itself is a flawed position.