Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The nature of inevitability

 The nature of Truth and of God–of the Dharma—are inevitable; that is, they cannot be avoided. Such nature is absolute, objective, not subjective, although it gives birth to the subjective.

This may sound like a lot to swallow; and perhaps one thinks it means nothing whatsoever to ordinary life. But in fact, it means everything, because the action of Truth is both perfect and relentless; it expresses itself absolutely in all instances and instants, regardless of the subjective opinion and nature of man. A misalignment with this situation is natural to man; it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

Man's natural alignment ought to be perfect in regard to Truth; and this is a matter of consciousness, not personal opinion. Man is aligned to Truth in direct proportion to his conscious Being. That which is conscious moves towards Truth; that which is not conscious falls away from it.

 We call distance from Truth "lying," yet this word is somehow unhelpful, because there is only proximity to Truth. Any manifestation can either be closer to Truth or further away from it, and will always move either away from it or towards it. There is no fixed place; as Jesus Christ said, “foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head." (Matthew 8:20.)

 There is no way to avoid movement in one direction or another. Although men sense this, everyone thinks that movement of this kind takes place in, and is measured by, the outside world. That is, the outer world is considered to be unavoidable and inevitable, a place where the absolutes arise, are explored, and where things are resolved. In its most religious form, this is interpreted by suggesting that actions determine one's place in heaven or hell; in its least religious, or atheist, form, it is interpreted by suggesting that actions alone are absolute, without any higher meaning or consequent motive force behind them. Either way, the interpretation is an outer one, which consigns all meaning and value to external relationships.

 Yet this has nothing to do with the actual action of consciousness within man's soul, what is really taking place in life. All of the action and measurement is actually taking place within the inner world, and the outer world is merely a mirror for it. Almost all of Buddhist doctrine, especially Zen, is meant to expound this particular truth. There are also versions of it in the other major traditions, but perhaps more diluted and even more difficult to identify. Because these understandings are invariably encountered and interpreted by man's outer being parts, they are misunderstood. No one sees that the real inevitability is in the inevitability of the inner self and its relationship to the essence, and, ultimately, to God.  This inner relationship, which we believe to be subjective, is actually the only objective part in man; and the outer relationship, to which we assign objectivity, due to the measurable material action of things, is in fact entirely subjective, since it deals with reflections of reality, not reality itself.

 We therefore have our understanding of objectivity and subjectivity inverted, as well as inverting our understanding of the nature of Self, and what is evitable or inevitable. What is inevitable is only ever what is formed inwardly; it determines everything— and this is exactly why it cannot be avoided.

This is why a poor man with a positive inner state can be unusually happy, and a rich man with a negative one miserably depressed. The inevitability of their respective inner states is what has determined all of the understanding of outer conditions. The poor man is unavoidably happy because of his better inner state; the rich man is unavoidably depressed because of his worse one. In each case, what cannot be avoided—how he isarises directly from his nature and how it has formed itself inwardly.

Either one of them could possibly avoid any number of external circumstances; and indeed, almost all of these external circumstances are subject to the law of accident in one way or another, because their material nature is a lower one, subject to more laws, quite different than the nature of the soul, which already has the potential for more freedom.

Yet whether avoided or encountered, external circumstances ultimately make no difference. In human beings, everything is already inevitably determined according to inner conditions, before any external conditions are encountered.

May your soul be filled with light.

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