Ray: Eckhart, the idea of enthusiasm plays a vitally important part in your work and approach to life. Why?
Eckhart: There are three ways of awakened doing. If you are not in any one of these three modalities — the modalities of awakened doing — that means you are not aligned with life. You are not taking responsibility for the present moment, and you should stop doing what you are doing.
One modality is acceptance — to be in inner acceptance of what you have to do. You may not be able to enjoy it. Your car breaks down in the middle of the night. It’s raining. It’s cold. And you have to change the tire of your car. You cannot really enjoy that it is cold and wet, but you can bring acceptance to it. Peace flows into it.
It is much more likely, by the way, that help comes in when what you are doing is done while you are in a state of inner peace, rather than resistance. It is much more likely another car will suddenly come and someone will offer help. It works like that.
The second modality is enjoyment. You are one with the present moment, and you enjoy even relatively insignificant or routine things. You enjoy waiting at a traffic light. You can feel the energy in your body as you sit there. You enjoy looking at a tree. The branches are moving in the wind while you sit there at the traffic light, and the clouds are passing. It’s enjoyable.
You enjoy the simple things: dusting the table, preparing a cup of tea. You still can be present even as you do routine things.
Enthusiasm, the third modality of awakened doing, is when the universe creates through you. You are involved in a creative act. You are bringing something new into this world. When that energy comes in, you feel an intense aliveness that flows into what you do. That is enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm cannot be a continuous state. It comes in waves. Whenever you are engaged in something and there is an outpouring of energy, you are in enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is intensified enjoyment of what you are doing.
You have a goal. You know where you are going. The goal has its importance. But the doing is what is truly fulfilling. Every enthusiastic person has a goal that may be important, but the doing is intensely fulfilling, and it is the essence of enthusiasm.