Networks, the work ethic and new age fluffy bunnyism

One of the joys for me of reading and much as I do, and reading so many books in rapid succession, is the way that ideas from one merge into the others. I don't almost remember as much as I wish I could but the syntheses can be great fun.

Many of the books I read on spirituality reinforce the idea that being is more important than becoming. Expecting to be happy if certain conditions are met is a false position to get into when happiness is something you do rather than something you get. To be happy is a choice, a choice that many of us, sadly, don't make.

I am currently reading Manuel Castells' fantastic book The Power of Communication. In it he talks of the global network society's tendency to truncate time and how the industrial society, with its ideas of progress, deferred gratification, Protestant work ethic etc. made becoming more important than being. In his view in the networked society "being cancels becoming".

In the industrial society, which was organised around the idea of progress and the development of productive forces, becoming structured beeing, time conformed space. In the network society, the space of flows dissolves time by disordering the sequence of events and making them simultaneous in the communication networks, plus installing society in structural ephemerality: being cancels becoming.

I find it funny in my new life as a freelancer when friends, who still work in industrial age office jobs, ask me where I am "going back to work". I am genuinely confused by the question and it is in the sense suggested by Castells, I do what I do, it is a mix of things for myself and things for other people, some of it is paid and some of it is not, I am as likely to be doing it at 4.00 in the morning as I am between 9.00 and 5.00, my wife thinks I am working harder than ever before and yet it doesn't feel like it. More than ever I have a sense of being rather than becoming.