Procrastination by Gilles Farcet (Article published in Kaizen magazine)
A basic precept of ecology is not to waste energy resources.
From the perspective of interior ecology, we gain by questioning the management of our “subtle” energies. Unnecessary thoughts consume a lot of energy, so is internal division. Any ecological approach seeks to identify the roots of pollution and waste. With regard to inner division and the production of unnecessary thoughts, one of the major factors is this widespread mechanism called procrastination.
I am struck by the extent to which this “disease” has taken on endemic proportions through my friendly and professional relationships. Many human beings commit to doing something and simply do not do it, or take so long to do it that it becomes inane. There is no small procrastination: whether the “thing to do” is considered “important” or trivial, the simple fact of not respecting a commitment constitutes violence against ourselves (without counting the nuisance it can cause to others). Such “ordinary” violence is so common that it goes unnoticed and its consequences are constantly minimized, as is the case with everyday pollution. Whether I am fully aware of it or not, not doing what I am asked to do, what I have committed myself to do, produces within me an inner division in the form of diffuse uneasiness (“I should do and I don’t do”) and thoughts “directed towards” (“I must do”…) This unease and these thoughts, however vague they may be, are great consumers of psychic energy. Each unfulfilled commitment, each procrastinated act becomes like a frying pan on a string, attached to our pants… Dragging so many frying pans, we move forward in a cacophony of deafening psychic noise. The unfulfilled commitment, the unfulfilled and always demanding action slow our march forward and pull us back. The more I procrastinate, the less peace I can be, simply available at the moment.
As a young man, I was like so many others, a great adept of fuzzy thinking and of procrastination. The trigger came when I realized that doing what I had to do as soon as possible was not a moral injunction but an intelligent management of my energy, therefore it became my profound interest and even for my spiritual life. Anyone who has tried to sit down to meditate will notice an influx of thoughts; (s)he will also notice that a large proportion of these thoughts relate to things to do… Forty years ago, when I started to practice it, meditation was not in fashion, but the mechanism of procrastination being, it, eternal, I quickly understood the concrete link between my way of dealing with my small daily affairs and the quality of my inner life. “What you have to do, do it now,” said Swami Prajnanpad. These words of common sense spoken by a great spiritual master had a decisive impact on me. I do not claim to have become one hundred percent reliable; error is human, humanity does not suffer perfection. But to have taken this word seriously has contributed so much to my ability to enjoy peace here and now. Doing what needs to be done now doesn’t necessarily mean right away, all the business stopping, which would be very difficult in a context where emails, messages and calls keep adding to the famous “list” as they go along. The very simple secret is not to leave things undefined: write everything down, then even consider approximately when the action can realistically be accomplished. I can be at peace here and now not because I have “done everything” – which is impossible; we will probably die with a long list of things to do – but because what I have to do, I know I will do and when, or about when. One cannot imagine the subtle energy thus saved, the availability at the moment thus found and thus, yes… the aptitude for joy inherent in the unpolluted relationship to what is here and now.
Not procrastinating allows us to welcome our destiny at each moment, going with (and not against) the dynamics of what everyday life imposes on us.
Have you seen in yourself the reasons for your procrastination?
What I suppose now, it is that there is a defense mechanism in myself that solidifies things.
What are you defending?
I am not aware of what it is that I am defending.
Then make some asumptions.
I think that:
- – There is a part of myself that doesn’t want to recognize its errors, its defects, its failures… It’s easier to “understand nothing” than to assume my weaknesses and; that part in myself is attached to convictions, principles, concepts, …
- – The mechanism of doubt/confusion allows me to not see what disturbs the foundations of my identity, that takes up all the room!
But one of the consequences of this doubt/confusion’s mechanism is my passivity and the failure to make decisions.
And associated with it, there is also a very important oblivion mechanism, which makes me have huge difficulties to connect things together and creates an enormous mental confusion.
Procrastination is a very efficient strategy to put oneself in deep shit and to generate unnecessary suffering.
Procrastination goes hand in hand with the mechanism of forgetting and confusion, not to understand, to put on the dunce hat.
There are 2 things to absolutely elude (as the devil eludes holy water) when we’re working on ourselves: procrastination and the lack of honesty with ourselves.
Behind each act of procrastination is hidden an implicit refusal to take our own responsibility in that moment in order to escape from necessary suffering.
Procrastination is a very easy, cowardly choice: unplugging our “machine”, becoming inert/apathetic in order to avoid being bored by the obligations and duties that life brings to us to accomplish.
Each time one is procrastinating, one is cutting oneself off from an evolutionary opportunity toward a complete wholeness or fullness (of being).
This all-pervasive comprehensive wholeness or fullness, can settle in our life only when we decide firmly to welcome the necessary suffering that life bring to us. This is impossible when one is procrastinating.
The choice of procrastination brings us a lot of unnecessary suffering and fears.
Behind this lies the false presupposition that responsibilities can be postponed without any bad consequences.
Procrastination prevents us from crossing the two stages E-F and B-C. [Any action arises from an impulse, and follows an ascending progress (illustrated by the musical octave defined by the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C). The stages E-F and B-C correspond to stages where a slow down occurs, a fall of energy. If the impulse of departure does not succeed in crossing these two stages, then the trajectory leading to the aimed purpose is diverted, and even restarts behind or at the beginning.]
We’re nurturing a pathological passivity so we end up going round and round (getting nowhere).
The syndromes you’re describing and that you’re actually living are the results of your past procrastination.
If you were older you would be living Alzheimer’s or senile dementia.
So if you don’t radically kill that process/mechanism, you will end up living senile dementia if you get to be old enough.
This process is very destructive and dangerous.
Procrastination creates unnecessary fears, while it kills trust in life, or it prevents one from having trust in life.
Often there’s a non-consideration of others.
Example 1: g’s procrastination could prevent the normal unfolding of a common plan.
Example 2: waiting for a reminder to do what has to be done brings into play the others (so they waste their time) to make a reminder.
So it is essential:
* to take an existential decision that one will never procrastinate again.
* to develop a strict discipline in order to say “NO!” each time a temptation of procrastination appears.
Procrastination is a self-pollution fundamentally counter-natural which has nothing to do with the infinite patience of a realized being who lives in equanimity.
Each time life asks you to do something, just ask yourself:
Am I postponing it because I have good reasons to do so? (It could be useful to wait a little bit.)
Or am I postponing because it pisses me off to do that (avoiding necessary suffering and not assuming ones responsibilities about the consequences (of their actions) on others, also a bad feeling in the body, sometimes anxiety).
Procrastination mutilates the essential value.
I know someone in New York and procrastination had been a problem for him for a long time.
Here is what he wrote me:
Yes, for me procrastination had been a major part of my life since childhood. After that trauma I began to procrastinate as a coping strategy.
I procrastinated to avoid stress because stress would lead to unbearable states of anxiety and shame. Then it became a way of life; it was integrated into my philosophy of life. As an adult when procrastination was no longer possible, and suicide not a viable choice, I found some ways to deal with it:
First, it’s essential to get some kind of regular bodywork: Feldenkrais, Bowenwork, some kind of work that aims to clear the nervous system, etc.
That has been important. Next, it was necessary for me to feel a sense of energetic power also called “personal power.” The bodywork can clear energetic blocks to free up that quality. It’s an actual felt presence. If/when I think of what I have to do and start to feel overwhelmed, I invigorate that energetic feeling to block out any desires to avoid the work I have to do.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to do this, but I have learned that (for me) simply doing the task without “clearing” my inner self from the procrastination virus is not good enough. It has to be completely destroyed first, then what needs to be done becomes clear.
I haven’t had a problem with procrastination for about 8 months. To defeat procrastination I had to get to know how it works. It seems to seep in through the cracks in my awareness. And, one extra thing that makes it difficult to work with is that until one learns to recognize it for what it is, there is a pleasant feeling of contentment as it seeps into the nervous system. Here is what I can say about that:
Once I saw a show about snakes. There are many different types of poisons that different snakes have. One snake’s venom has pain killing properties and is something like morphine. When it bites its victims, they feel great and don’t feel a need to escape. Then it eats them. I thought that they should call that snake the procrastination viper. True story.
I had a terrible time with procrastination. I don’t imagine I’ll decide in the future to retake a bite from that plate of rotten meat. 🙂
Procrastination caused so much shit in my life… a procrastinator sometimes needs a slap in the face to snap out of it.
Also, they may consider reading the book called, “Economics 101.” It is good because what I learned is that economics is really the study of consequences. For some reason when economics was spelled out for me I realized directly the cause and effect reality. For the procrastinator, consequences are random and unpredictable forces; therefore the best procrastinators try to get skilled at figuring out how to be lucky… and how to charm the people they’ve disappointed. When procrastination is dissolved a sense of personal power and the ability to direct one’s destiny arises. Then luck seems to be a regularly arising phenomenon.
What they need to recognize is that procrastination is a sin and a sickness.
And once it’s inside of you, it becomes the father of dozens of leaches which suck your blood and release their shit into your bloodstream.
Your procrastinating friends need to literally FIGHT the temptation. FIGHT it with everything they have or they will be a slave to it, which means they will be a slave to an impotent will and a weak mind. This is not an exaggeration. I say this from experience.
By the way, I think this is part of my new love of gardening and farming. Nature accepts no excuses. If I don’t plant, it won’t grow. It doesn’t matter that I had the best of intentions.
It’s a very, very tricky thing to deal with.
For me, I suffered it to the bone, so the lesson is learned. It’s best to not have to let it get that far.
Right now the other aspect that comes to mind is the idea that one has to continue to maintain the force of presence within oneself. Don’t think, “Okay, I overcame procrastination many times this week so it will get easier from now on.” It’s a moment to moment connection. As I said, good forms of bodywork will clear the blocks to the connection. You have to stay with the presence when the temptation pulls you to procrastinate.
At that moment when the snake starts to sink its teeth in, realize the peril! Don’t succumb to it. Breathe deeply and reconnect to the energetic quality, the strength quality of presence. Decide that you will stay with it, and then stay with it… NO MATTER WHAT! If you failed, realize it is a failure… Then reconnect, if you can’t reconnect and stay with it, you need bodywork. If you had good bodywork and you can’t reconnect, then it’s only because you are not serious about it. It’s that simple.
Oh, and one other thing… while you are fighting it you might have to face the wounded feeling of weakness/impotence (not sexual) and probably the devil will whisper in your ear, “it’s not worth it.” Let that temptation be the trigger to recharge your resolve to stay with presence…
Stay with it as if your life depends on it. It’s a fight that you will only lose if you quit.
I think procrastination is the state of being cut off from strength. The essential quality of strength.
How do you mentally manage the moments when a thought comes up and suggest you that time has come to procrastinate?
It doesn’t work like that. What happens is that one thinks about one has to do. Then one aspect of that task is highlighted in a category called, “not sure if it can be done,” or “pain in the ass.” Then one thinks about avoiding that particular aspect. That is the moment the snake sinks its teeth in. The idea of escape is intoxicating and then the venom has entered the bloodstream. Suddenly, one can’t even remember what one had to do and/or why it was so important.
Here’s what one says to oneself:
“Well, it can’t be THAT important, right?”
“There will be time for it later, I’ll make time.”
Also, the pleasurable feelings will be guarded against. If someone were to remind the procrastinator that they should be doing more important things, it’s possible the procrastinator will become VERY upset.
What is the difference between procrastinating and useful postponing?
Completely different. With procrastination the intention is to escape. Useful postponing is about time management and productivity.
Is procrastinating a kind of psychological self-mutilation?
I’m not sure what you mean, I think not though. It’s about escaping. One perceives oneself as not up to the task at hand. One doesn’t have the will or strength to handle what needs to be done. Getting through and resolving the procrastination issue will probably bring up a lot of anger. This is good, anger is the identity’s version of strength. If you can work through the anger it will be better integrated and can be seen as the essential aspect of strength.
In your first mail you wrote: “There is a pleasant feeling of contentment as it seeps into the nervous system.”
Please expand on this.
I don’t think the procrastinator thinks about avoiding an entire task, they just think about avoiding one aspect of that task. One thinks, “I can do it later.” As one thinks this idea the anguish about going through the task immediately vanishes. It’s replaced by total relief and a warm contented feeling… even a little joy and gratitude. That means the venom is seeping in. At that point one has to decide to go for the task and the shit feelings it brings up or to do nothing and stay with the contented feelings of relief, joy, and gratitude. Hmmm… Even though one knows what needs to be done, the procrastinator chooses to feel good now. IMPORTANT… while one is procrastinating, the thought will occur to do what needs to be done. The procrastinator will over and over again choose to feel good. Let’s say one needs to do work but is watching television. The nagging thought will regularly arise to do the work.
Eventually, to really enjoy oneself, you have to commit to the procrastination and block out the rational thought. This is serious self-delusion and the ability to connect cause and effect becomes short circuited.
Oh… One more important piece of information… the feel-good procrastination venom arises sometimes outside of the awareness. This makes it so hard to work against. It’s a feature of the human body-mind that his can happen. This is why sometimes a man and a woman can be “suddenly” passionate about each other. The intense feelings can arise outside of their awareness. This is an understood phenomenon in psychology, but I don’t think it’s been identified as part of procrastination yet.
Can I allow myself to procrastinate sometimes or do I need to get rid of it completely?
It needs to be destroyed. Time to relax and enjoy oneself should be earned. Procrastinating means you’ve abandoned presence in favor of a blissful feeling of immediate contentment and freedom. How could leaving presence ever be a good thing? Answer: it can’t. But the good news is, if you stay with presence, you won’t ever feel the need for escape. Another part of this is the fact that you’ve probably been procrastinating the same kinds of things your entire life.
Many inner work aspects require a great deal of sensitivity, acceptance, and careful attention. I think procrastination requires BRUTE FORCE. Remember it’s about strength. Those that don’t procrastinate can’t understand it. Those that procrastinate just want to be accepted for their weakness and not to be judged for it.
If one is into one’s essence and connected to the strength aspect, one will never have to deal with procrastination.
Is the procrastinator aware of the consequences that his procrastination has on other people?
Yes, that can happen.
How does he deal with this inside himself?
He will feel sorry for himself… and/or resent the people he let down. He will resent them for not accepting/understanding his weakness.
How did you react when you became aware that someone else is procrastinating with whom you were running a common project (couple, business, travel or other planning etc.)?
Hahahaha! This just happened. Before I was to meet with him I made him commit to it. When the time came he came up with an excuse. I decided to no longer deal with him. It’s like dealing with a drug addict. Most drug addicts aren’t interested in recovering. They just want to know how to maintain the drug habit while getting through normal life.
But, if it was a situation where I had to deal with the procrastinator, I would have to regularly check up to see if they had followed through on each phase of a project.
Does something exist where you would never have procrastinated, under no circumstances?
In my personal life circumstances, I think it would have been impossible. The only way that I could have avoided the procrastination trap would have been to get the advice that I’ve given here. If someone would have explained the dynamics of it and how to avoid it, and then helped me connect to inner strength, then to recognize that procrastination arises because of deficiency of strength of will… Then to get bodywork regularly… With all that, then yes, I could have easily avoided it.
Also, check to see if you have had some intense experience of being overpowered at some point. An event early on in which your best effort wasn’t good enough. Something like that can cause an existential wound and cut one off from inner strength. It can happen like that, or one can just integrate procrastination little by little until one is stuck with it.
Does procrastination lead to useless permanent underlying stress and unnecessary suffering, especially when the countdown has started and the task needs to be done?
Yes. An underlying stress develops to the point where it is so unbearable that either
– you try to get an extension on the deadline; or
– you do what needs to be done.
Am I right to say that for someone who is procrastinating it is impossible to be well organized (with well organized I mean anticipating and mentally preparing what needs to be done)?
Does fear play a role in procrastination?
It could in two ways that I can think of:
– avoiding something because it brings up fear (i.e.: fear of failure); and
– having procrastinated something for so long builds an energetic bubble of anxiety around it. It can bring up fear just thinking about out it when that happens.
Why would someone become angry when one points his procrastination?
One way to answer this is to say, well, wouldn’t a baby become angry if you took its candy away? Another way is to answer this is to say that procrastinating is a situation where the procrastinator knows he has other things he NEEDS to do but has instead chose to not do it. He has chosen weakness over strength. Deep down this is realized, but to retain any amount of sincerity, it must be obscured from the awareness. The mind itself is a sincere mechanism. Once it realizes that one thing is more painful than another, it will always choose the less painful thing. But here we obscure the perception of reality to fool the “ourselves” that the choice we made was less painful, or probably less painful. This method of blurring the inner world takes energy to maintain.
When a wrench is thrown into the machinery of self-deceit, one either immediately abandons the procrastination or one has to reinitialize the entire escape mechanism. If the person keeps throwing wrenches into our procrastination machine we can’t do it effectively. Therefore, get angry with them so they leave you alone long enough to be able to induce the self-deceit trance.
Am I right that if in a common project someone is procrastinating, (s) he’s a pain in the ass for the others?
Completely! The others in the project will most likely get very upset, and rightly so.
What are the most common excuses to justify to others that a task has been procrastinated?
I’ve not had the time?
I do what I can, but…?
Too occupied with other things?
It could be anything. The best lies use the truth. You won’t be able to recognize it in others until you see the pattern in their behavior. To lie to oneself it helps to have a little bit of self-righteousness built in to it. “I deserve some fun… I never get any time for myself…” etc.
Did I understand correctly that in order to get rid of procrastination, one needs to work on good organization in one’s life, like anticipating the sequences of the different things to do, clearly creating a hierarchy of priorities etc.?
It depends how deeply you are into procrastination. To suddenly “start over” and begin a new method of organization will most likely fail. Start by making a short list of things that need to get done that you’ve been putting off. (If you’ve been procrastinating for a while, this will take a kind of meditative mind to analyze and to open the memory.)
Then start doing those things. Catch up on the things you need to catch up on. Look for ways to get ahead on other things so that you’ll have more time to catch up on things.
Life happens in a way that it’s impossible to not be behind on something. So you must catch up and get ahead on all that you can. Start simply. DO NOT develop an elaborate system for organization. It’s not so much about systems in the beginning… It’s about strength. Inner strength. Build your connection to presence, stay with it… then ask yourself what do I need to do? What causes me stress? What part of that stressful situation can I get done ahead of time to make it less stressful?
As you are doing those things you need to do, it will occur to you things that you will need to be able to do them more effectively and efficiently. That is how you become more organized… As you realize the need for it.
Is a procrastinator a slave or a victim of time (never has enough time to do all that needs to be done)?
Yes, of course.
Does a procrastinator often say “yes” to a request before thinking about the consequences and the feasibility of the request?
Hmmm… It could, but it depends on the individual. There can be reasons for this other than procrastinating.
If yes, what makes him say “yes”?
If he does it as part of the procrastination, then most likely he thinks that it would be something he should do… then he thinks about getting this thing done the same way he gets all things done… wishful thinking! The procrastinator is not able to accurately assess his ability to accomplish tasks in a given time period. So it becomes easy to let false optimism influence one’s desire to not disappoint the other person, so one agrees to a task one shouldn’t.
BUT… I have found that once you stop procrastinating, your productivity will increase and you will be able to congruently say yes to helping other people. And you will actually be able to be there when you said and do what you promised. I can’t do everything, but I have found myself able to give much more.
Is there a difference between procrastination and laziness?
Well, I guess laziness is a generalized feeling of wishing to avoid action. Procrastination is a chronic avoidance of a particular task.
You said: procrastination leads to weakness, absence of procrastination leads to strength. Does the very fighting against procrastination lead to strength?
Yes, definitely. That’s the whole idea.
Or does it uncover an already present strength?
Well, strength is an aspect of essence, so I guess it’s always there and it’s a matter of connecting to it. But at the same time, the longer you stay with it the more it will grow and change. For example, the expression of essence of a two year old child is different from the expression of essence in a 40 year old.
Is this strength is observable in the body?
Maybe, I am not sure. I guess good posture. A kind of sureness in one’s movements. It’s not really that obvious, what’s more obvious is the lack of it. Criminals can spot this easily. They can right away know who will make a good target.
If you can, could you please expand on this?
I. e. where is this strength located?
It permeates the body. It reminds me of flowing water. You know how a strong current flows?
How does it feel?
Is there a relation between procrastination and (low or high) self-esteem?
Probably most of the time a procrastinator has low self-esteem, but it doesn’t always happen like that.
Some people seem to be busy all the time.
Do procrastinators tend to show others that they are busy all the time?
If yes, why do they do this?
They are busy all the time, they are just not busy with the things that need to get done.
When they fail to live up to their obligations they have to have some good reason for this.
No amount of intellectual understanding beyond the basics will help. It is probably somewhere in the procrastinator’s handbook to make a study of procrastination and to have looooong discussions about it.
For example, among your friends procrastinators, is there who began a physical work since we started this discussion?
If none, why? I said that it was really necessary. No money? Then begin saving or sell something on Ebay to get the money. I’m sorry to be so “hard,” but there is no other way.
Either you are seriously engaged in this work, or one is trapped…
Worse, I think it is harder and harder to get out of this trap when you get older and you end up with mental illness.
Ineffective planning and procrastination often go hand in hand.
Procrastination is the main issue when one has difficulties to mentally anticipate the future sequences of events.
The best planning is done when there is no urgency.
This allows to take into account a maximum of contingencies. When one expects too much, stress rises and confuses the intellectual faculties and creativity.
Another factor also takes place in effective planning: denying forces that slow down the sequence of events.
Organizing “just in time” can work, but it is safer to program a leeway of extra time.
I recognize myself when in front of the computer, I have the tendency to postpone everything…
The more we face up to our responsibilities in the daily life and as one goes along, the more we are available on what appears in the not predictable of the everyday life.
Be the lightest possible, as to be ready in…
Being available for…
Follow the run-up of what appears.
It is not always easy to distinguish between procrastination and procrastination…
There are times I’m highly productive, then I procrastinate only less important things and things that are less urgent and there are also periods I’m deeply tired during which I procrastinate almost everything. I also observed that procrastinating important projects until the point of no-return provokes creativity and the “necessary condition” to do them in time.
So, am I a procrastination junkie?
I think so.
What you call “necessary condition” is a state of unnecessary stress. It seems to me that you’ve always worked like that, and you have not the slightest idea that you can do things without the unnecessary stress. In fact, you’d say that it is useful and necessary, even essential to your functioning.
Your lack of body awareness is directly linked with this.
Procrastination is always referring to a refusal to take our own responsibilities (That is the essential value which dictates them, and we have no right to allow ourselves to refuse them.)
We have responsibilities towards others, but also with oneself.
A balanced human being has 0 (ZERO) procrastination, in any contexts.
Equanimity is impossible as long as there is any procrastination in the life of a human being, in any contexts.
Every time you procrastinate you’re deteriorating your life and you could often pollute the lives of others who don’t have to bear your non-responsibility.
At present, I have experimented with phases of “fluidity”, but, I haven’t the slightest idea how to “provoke” them again.
You advise me to change this program, how do I do that?
Begin regular bodywork: take a course of Feldenkrais at least 1 time per week (no individual sessions.)
Take 30 min per day of a physical activity (Feldenkrais, dance, walking, jogging etc.)
Take it slowly, without forcing.
Be present in the action.
Observe your breath when you are engaged in the activity.
Review all that was written about procrastination.
Especially don’t begin to not procrastinate yet because your body/nervous system is not yet ready to follow.
Once a day:
take something you could do later and do it now until it is finished, without stopping.
The subject of procrastination made me aware of the essential importance of its subtleties.
For example, identify, not to feel relief once the things done, but a freedom devoid of any personal interest, beyond possible comparison and follow the momentum in the action
I could find that for some procrastination can be a major behavior disorder when combined with the very construction of identity, M. and A. for example: like for the eating disorders, with anorexia and bulimia.
The one is lost in a hyper activity, the other in a lethargy, but the pathology at the time is at the same level… hard… hard.
To answer the question 0, with the vigilance not to give me 1 sometimes outside my responsibility to others.
I’ve decided to absolutely stop ALL procrastination!
That’s it! ! !
This is a good example for anyone here. Procrastination 0 needs an existential decision e.g. “from now to ever” I invite all of you to take that opportunity that he is offering us, and to do it now (without waiting anymore.)
The goal to reach now: transforming an inert “potato sack” to become a warrior.
More things still came to me about procrastination:
When you procrastinate, you’re still carrying a weight, the weight of what has not been done. This weight remains also when we rest. The existential relaxation, which I have often talked, is not possible in such a case.
You don’t have to turn obsessive/fussy, doing everything immediately, although doing everything in short order is mostly a good strategy.
Sometimes it is more appropriate to wait, for example when there’s a lack of inspiration and that there’s no imperative.
Once that this existential relaxation I mentioned above is the basis of any action, we’ll give ourselves plenty of leeway, also to do nothing when life gives us that opportunity. It is often in these moments: we did what have to be done, we rest etc. that inspiration–first coming from nowhere then “filtered” by the essential value–can occur.
Someone who’s procrastinating too much, doesn’t have enough leeway to reach the existential relaxation, then his/her essential value’s expression is, at best, partly blocked, especially in the action and its evolution in time (mostly by unnecessary stress that procrastination causes, but also by fear of not succeeding).
Not procrastinating is essential to be able to surrender everything in our last breath/exhalation: our own death.
I never heard of hara before. A search on google brings me to this: “Hara: about 8 cm below the navel. It is in this center that the primordial energy is stored. This is the energy you inherited at your birth, the energy that is the essence of your life and giving you the purpose of your life. The primordial energy is not only the energy received from your parents when you were conceived, but more importantly it is the energetic connection between you and the universal force.
When the term hara is used, it is almost always the hara “low” (below the navel.)”
Is this definition ok for you?
It seems that procrastination used to be one of the deadly sins according to early Christian writings. Later it was combined with the sin of “sloth.” It was called Acedia…
Main article: Acedia
Acedia (Latin, acedia) is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is similar to melancholy, although acedia describes the behavior, while melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a willful refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world God created; by contrast, apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need.
When Thomas Aquinas described acedia in his interpretation of the list, he described it as an uneasiness of the mind, being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing acedia as the failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind and all one’s soul; to him it was the middle sin, the only one characterized by an absence or insufficiency of love. Some scholars have said that the ultimate form of acedia was despair which leads to suicide.
Though in this I think they have the order slightly wrong. The procrastination leads to despair and from there it becomes a cycle of shit on top of shit with a little shit in the middle too. 😉 The initial procrastination could have come from a variety of things, but the end result is the same.
I have a friend who lives this. He refuses to get a job and puts his hopes into unlikely ways to make money. I don’t talk with him much anymore since our dialogues are at an impasse. In any event, I think some of the early Christian writers were on to some good ideas. The ideas of the deadly sins have been/are very helpful to me.