Understanding Buddhism as a Corporate Metaphor

I work in a large corporation now for the last 6 years as an systems engineer. I’ve moved offices many times and I’ve transferred around within the company (working in Dublin for example) sometimes. It occurred to me that this is an interesting metaphor for the Buddhist notion of Samsara, rebirth, etc.

In the time I’ve worked for this company, sometimes I work in nice office locations, sometimes in bad office locations. Sometimes, I stay at that location for many months, sometimes for a short time. If I work hard, and make a positive impact on the company, it helps me somewhat to get a better office. But, even then, I might still get a bad office if other conditions outside my control still affect my ability to get a good office space.

As of March, I got a new office space, with a much better view:

Springtime in Seattle

It occurred to me that while this view is nice, it won’t last forever. Sooner or later, I’ll get moved to another office, and it will probably be a step down. Also I’ve worked in some office spaces that were cramped, noisy and with no view at all, but they too only lasted so long. So, whatever office space I am in, regardless of whether it’s nice or ugly, comfortable or cramped, I will only stay there for a limited time.

Also, even though I have a nice office now, it’s still work and comes with all the obligations, stresses and such work will offer.

The only way to really have a sense of freedom would be to just stop working. But maybe I’m not ready for that yet. 😉


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

4 thoughts on “Understanding Buddhism as a Corporate Metaphor”

  1. LOVE this post as I think many can relate to this (I know I do, and losing that attachment before it develops), this is such a great reminder at how temporary everything is, whichever offices we find ourselves in. One of my favorite posts for sure.

    With many thanks, and glad to see your view is improving. 😀



  2. So you are in Seattle now? Very interesting thought and true. The metaphor you used about work and your work environment being out of your hands to a certain extent, can be applied to life, all of it. If you didn’t have this job this situation you would have something similar to it in a different form Freedom (control of your life) is a word, (just another word for nothing left to loose)that represents a feeling, it’s not a something that can be sustained in life, naturally. Yes it can be artificially sustained but then you are a slave to trying to stay free…If you are a Buddhist, you should get a laugh out of this. I’m not yet I get a kick out of the (limited) venues of life.


    1. Hi sgrangersmith and welcome to the JKLLR. Yeah, the whole “work to be free” sort of has an inherent flaw to it. However, on a practical note, I am married with kids (and yes I do love in Seattle), so I’ve made my commitments and I plan to stick with them. 🙂


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