The Epic Battle Between Mary And Martha

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As I entered my stifling hot car yesterday afternoon, I turned on the air conditioning. Then I switched on the radio, and I was immediately smacked upside the head by an interview with Anita Moorjani. She was recounting the lessons she learned from her near death experience. She spoke of how we are each unique Beings with our own unique purpose. And then she said “if your only purpose is to be you, you cannot fail“.

Anita Moorjani reminded me of my personal struggle between being versus doing. I spent decades working as a software developer. I was an analytic drudge. It was pure joy of an odd sort. It’s a kind of thinking that is actually a doing. It became my mode of living, instead of just a way to make a living.

The Source delivers frequent blessings in the form of reminders that our fulfillment comes in Being, not doing.ย  Imagination versus analysis. Creativity versus productivity. Playtime versus homework.ย  I’m reminded of the resentful Martha asking Jesus why he allowed Mary to sit around soaking up his wisdom with the rest of the disciples, instead of helping with the cooking & serving & dishes & cleaning. I know exactly how Martha feels. When I’m busy living like a Martha, I forget that I was born to be a Mary.

If imagination is the playground of the mind, then perhaps creativity is the playground of the Soul.

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42 Comments

  1. Both image and words are very creative. A reminder we all need at times (some more than others.) ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks Gunta. It’s a reminder that I happen to need more frequently than most. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. Great post! I’m loving Anita’s wisdom, and my meditation group is reading the book as well for discussion and hopefully to keep our souls on track for ‘being’ above doing. Great macro photo!

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    1. Thanks Eliza. I find Anita’s teaching is so positive. When I first read it, it was surprising and yet it just made perfect sense. What a gift she’s shared with us.

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      1. A lasting gift at that!

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  3. Thoughtful words – food for thought. I don’t know the subjects you mentioned particularly, but your reflections will wander around my mind for a good long awhile this evening. Thank you… and the bee photo is spectacular, I think the best I’ve ever seen. ~SueBee

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    1. Thank you so much, Sue. I’m glad you find this short post worth your attention.

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    1. Thanks so much! It was very thoughtful of the bee to hold still for me.

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  4. Fascinating detail of the bee and flower, very nice!

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  5. Thank You, Cuervo!

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  6. A very thoughtful and inspiring post. I’ve written down the Moorjani quote for reflection.
    (Lovely photograph)

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    1. Thank you Elisa for taking time to comment. I am glad you find the post useful. And, the bee and flower and I all appreciate your visit!

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  7. a wonderful and very thought provoking post. And that macro shot is incredible!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan. I am thankful for every “Mary” moment that I have. And, it was a pleasure to take the photo shown here. A walk through a botanical garden is always so nurturing.

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  8. This is exactly why I never let my work define me. I’ve been on my job for more than ten years. Once I remove the uniform, living begins. ๐Ÿ˜€ OUTSTANDING macro, MK!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Rommel. I’m glad you don’t have the temptation to be your work. And thanks for the appreciation on the photo.

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  9. This is wonderful, mk, to come to this realization.

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    1. Yes, coming to this realization is like having a great burden lifted from my shoulders. And every time I remember, it’s as if the gift is brand new.

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      1. So I suppose you gave up you techy job, huh?

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        1. I am now happily retired.

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  10. P.S. I love the BEE. It reminds me of my posts BEE and BE.. I go check out your link.

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  11. Sorry, me again. What made you titled this post “The Epic Battle between Mary and Martha” Is Martha the Bee and Mary the flower? I know this is a very interesting verse.

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    1. I can’t say exactly, but somehow I feel that the words and the image go together. I myself had to go back and ask why I chose this image. It feels more like the image just emerged from the pack. As I looked with a more analytical mind, perhaps I see the bee as doing and the flower as being. But at the same time, I see them both as being – just being in a different sort of way. The reason for the title “… epic battle …” is because it is an ongoing struggle for me. To let doing arise organically from being is a wondrously difficult pursuit.

      I hope that the words and the image work together somehow to capture the meaning.

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      1. Actually when I looked back at it and read the title of the post, I went into a more thoughtful stance in meditating the bible verse. Looking at the photo, I can imagine Martha and Mary. And reading your explanation makes a whole different meaning. Thank you for interacting with my questions, mk. I appreciate that in a blog. /seeker

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        1. Thank you Seeker. I now recall a Taoist concept that captures what I was trying to say: wu wei which means doing without doing. Here’s more info from Wikipedia –
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

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          1. Thank you so much, mk, for the link. This augments my faith. Blessings. /seeker

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  12. Reblogged this on The Seeker and commented:
    The joy Being.
    Read MK’s comment what it means. A lovely post.

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  13. Wonderful piece, this post. Such a core struggle in who we are … that (should) expose that struggle with what we do. Great job. T

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    1. It’s all okay – vs – it’s all so hard. It wouldn’t seem like such a difficult choice, would it?

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  14. The photo is stunning. Can I ask which lens you were using?

    The idea of “bee-ing” vs doing is extremely clever. Great work.

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    1. On this trip I carried a Nikon D5000 with several “good glass” lenses – a micro lens, a wide angle, and a zoom. But on this particular day, I was tired & left the expensive equipment in the hotel. This photo was taken with an inexpensive point-and-shoot: a Nikon Coolpix L830! The EXIF data says f5.4, focal length 37mm. But honestly, this image was just zoom, point & shoot. I am continually surprised by this little camera. (I also did some cropping & lighting adjustments in Photoshop Elements 11, nothing significant though.)

      Thanks for your visit and kind compliment!

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    1. Thank you so much, Dave! It’s a nice compliment coming from such an excellent photographer!

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  15. WOW! Such a great photo of the bee!
    Even the little hairs are crystal clear.
    Today, I met a strange dragonfly that actually wanted to be photographed.
    I got so focused on that dragonfly, I didn’t pay attention to anything else around me.
    I hope that I didn’t walk into any poison ivy, because I was not watching where my feet were going.
    Trouble is, more often than not, being and doing are happening at the same time. A difficult balance.
    Hard to be “In the world, but not of it. ” To survive in this world, I think this Mary needs to be a little bit more like Martha!
    I added the new photos onto the end of my post about dragonflies.

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  16. Thanks for your kind & thoughtful comment, Mary. I think maybe we’re one the same page? Our old friend Ram Dass said it better than I could – “be here now”. Now, I’m off to check out your new dragonflies!

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  17. SUPER! Photos of the nature are my passion.

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    1. Thank you! I was very lucky this day.

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  18. Started poking through your blog and this fantastic photo caught my eye. I wrote on something very similar today in my post. God has just recently brought me into a season of saying no to the Martha in me. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Crystal. I’m glad this post resonated with you. “If your only purpose is to be you, you cannot fail!” We get plenty of help along the way.

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