the great darkworker experiment

over the weekend in my online perusals, i came across steve pavlina’s personal development blog. maybe it’s a little early to make this call, but i have a feeling that what i have read and will read here will be life-changing. i have so far spent several hours just poring through his lengthy posts, most of which have to do with levels of consciousness, the power of intention, self-employment, finding your life’s purpose, cause and effect, just so many topics in the self-help genre. yet, i don’t think he is the typical self-help drivel at all. i think he is the real deal.

the thing i find most intriguing about him at the moment is his concept of being a lightworker vs. a darkworker. here he explains it succinctly:

If you polarize as a lightworker, you are dedicating your life to serving the greater good.

If you polarize as a darkworker, you are dedicating your life to serving yourself.

on the surface, this seems pretty simplistic and you probably think you can figure out who in your life falls into which category. however, pavlina says that only 1% of all people fall into either category, with the vast majority embracing some aspects of both, and thereby really not accomplishing what they really want with life.

i found as i was reading that i resonated more with the idea of being a darkworker. initially a darkworker seemed like someone who was evil and selfish, only concerned with what’s good for him or her, no matter what the cost. however, if you equate light with doing outer work, and dark with inner work, suddenly the thought of being a darkworker doesn’t seem so sinister. a lightworker is concerned completely with doing for others, someone like gandhi, for example; a darkworker would be someone like darth vader, to use pavlina’s example, whose actions were all centered around providing for his own highest good. but even that seems to simplistic, because, for me to be a darkworker, yes, it’s all about you, but it’s also about the repercussions of your actions towards others and how they can affect you. so you can’t just go around doing whatever the hell you want, treating people however you want to get what you want, and expect that to be for your own highest good. that’s why you take care of your body properly, because your body is a tool for getting you what you want. that’s why you treat people well, because it’s these people who are going to help you get where you want to go.

it’s a very interesting concept to me, especially because he points out that no matter which path you choose, either way you end up in the same place, nonduality. if you are a lightworker, doing all sorts of good things, you have to take care of yourself, or you won’t be any good for anyone. if you are a darkworker, as i said before, you basically have to ‘do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.’ as you get higher in levels of consciousness, the line between the two becomes blurred. so, a red (as in spiral dynamics) darkworker is actually going to more be like the stereotypical selfish person, as opposed to the 2nd tier darkworker, who realizes that pursuing his or her own goals is actually also the best thing for the greater good.anyway, pavlina suggests giving either side a 30-day trial run, so to speak, as far as fully embracing either the darkworker or lightworker.

so i’ve decided to go for it, definitely the darkworker, but also maybe the lightworker, depending on how the first part of this experiment goes. this morning is my first day of the experiment, and i can say already that i have a different mindset, that i’m more confident, and i’ve seen it in the way people (strangers) have reacted to me. of course that could just be all coincidence. still, we’ll see. my number one focus for the next 30 days will be me: my health, continuing my education, nurturing my friendships and family, just what i think is best for me. i’ll try to write about it as the month goes along and see what changes are real.

oddly enough, at the end of the month i am going to new orleans to work a few days with habitat for humanity, which is a lightworker thing to do if i’ve ever seen it. but from my darkworker point of view, this will give me skills toward building the off-the-grid house i eventually plan to have, it’s good experience to add to any grad school/job applications, i will get to meet new people, and at the end i get to enjoy great music at jazzfest.


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