In every situation, there is a tipping point where the responses of the people in the situation can influence the outcome of the situation for better or for worse. Our response in the present moment has an influential impact upon future moments, both immediate and distant. We wield the power for good or for evil as surely as any super hero or villain ever did. Our present situation is the result of our past situations. Our future situations will be, at least to some degree, what they are because of our present situation. The people for who things always seem to work out have a part to play in their outcomes. The people for whom things never seem to work out have a part to play in their outcomes. The present moment matters. Our response to it matters. We hold the future in our hands in every moment. We have to know that in our bones, and live as though we do.
"How could things be better?" The question opens the way for all the questions raised by the question. Questions do that for us when they aren't looking for The Right Answer, or even The Answer. Questions that are tied to answers aren't questions at all, but entrees to The Answer. They are Answers' way of getting air time. Answers have us where we are, which is wondering how things could be better. Without Answers, we would be in a lot better shape! Or, better, with all of our Answers properly understood as nothing more than steps on the way to better Questions, we would be in a lot better shape! Our hope is in the Questions! Asking all of the Questions that beg to be asked, without waiting around for Answers, leads deeper and deeper into wonderment, play, imagination, creativity, thinking things that have never been thought before, saying things that have never been said before, doing things that have never been done before, and a brand new world, Golda! Questions are the path to a brand new world! How could things be better? Ask all of the questions this question begs to be asked-- without stopping for Answers! See where that takes you! It will be a new way of looking at things, and that will mean the utter transformation of things, and that will mean a brand new world. We ask our way to brand new worlds-- and beyond!
Think of the Force in Star Wars as the Tao in the Tao te Ching. The Force and the Tao are beyond morality, good and evil, right and wrong. They are What The Situation Calls For. But, here is the catch, not for the good or bad of anyone/anything in the situation! Good and evil, right and wrong, depend upon what side you are on. If you don't have a side, what? The Force and the Tao, don't have a side. They have a Way. What's the Way? What needs to be done here and now-- in light of here and now!-- for the sake of here and now! If the baby's diaper needs changing, change the baby's diaper! If the dog needs to go outside, take the dog outside! "Eat when hungry, rest when tired!" When we complicate the situation by bringing in considerations that have nothing to do with the situation, like the long-term financial impact eating when hungry has on the gross national product and the economic security of the kingdom, we tie things up in a "Nothing can happen until something else does!" kind of knot. If the situation calls for eating when hungry, eat when hungry! And let everything else fall into place around that! But, we can't do anything because of the effect it may have on something else. "Will she/he still love me?" "Will I get a raise/be fired?" We live with our own good in mind and not the needs of the current situation. We strive to connive, contrive, finagle, manipulate, control a future of our liking into existence. We live here and now in light of what we think it will take to bring wealth and glory in abounding abundance to us there and then. Oops. The Way is about doing what is called for here and now, and seeing where it goes. Jesus said it best: "The Spirit is like the wind that blows where it will!" The Spirit doesn't know why it is doing what it is doing, or what it will be doing next, or where it is going, or what the plan it, or how any of that is important. The Spirit's actions arise out of the urgency--the impulse-- of the moment: "THIS must be done here and now! We will worry about then what later!" Which falls nicely in line with Jesus' little talk about the lilies of the field, "Which neither sew nor reap, but are all decked out in the most beautiful array of colors imaginable! So worry about what needs to be done today, and let tomorrow's needs be taken care of tomorrow!" Let the Force, the Tao, the Spirit be with you! And you be with it/them, here and now!
There are only two things-- make that four things-- that matter: 1&2 Finding your life to live and living it, 3&4 Helping other people find their life to live and living it. Get those four things down and everything falls into place around that, transformed for the good forever. To do it, to find our life to live and live it, we have to follow the pattern of all the heros on all the journeys throughout time. Yes, Virginia, there is a recipe. First, we have to put desire and fear in their place. Hint: They don't have a place. We have to live beyond desire and fear, that is to say, without desire and fear, in order to find our life and live it. This means we have to do the things that need to be done no matter what-- no matter what it means for us personally, or for those we love. Snaps us back to Jesus and his declaration about austerity: "Those who would follow me have to leave father and mother, brothers and sisters, and take up their cross daily in (finding their life and living it). Joseph Campbell said the same thing: "Do you have what it takes to stick with it? To do what it requires of you? Day in and day out? Whether you want to or not? Whether you feel like it or not? Whether you are in the mood for it or not? For no other reason than because it is yours to do-- and go on doing-- throughout the time left for living, no matter what?" "No matter what?" means we have to find our life and anchor ourselves to it with an adamantine declaration of allegiance and loyalty that puts liege and filial devotion to shame. This is what all of those old love stories are about. It isn't about boy and girl finding each other and swearing their troth forever, it is about men and women finding their life and living it through all of the situations and circumstances of life. It is not about finding the man or the woman meant for them, but about finding the life they are meant for and living it beyond all other compelling considerations. Can they find the life partner who will aid and assist them in their dharma/duty to their own life? That is the heart of the boy/girl (or boy/boy, girl/girl) thing: "Can we be good for each other in bringing the other forth and helping the other live their life to the fullest extent possible?" Find the person who can create this kind of environment with you, and stick with them throughout eternity! We are here for the life that is ours to live! And nothing can knock us off that! The next thing is learning to read the signs, to know what the symbols refer to-- the symbols that catch our eye, that speak to us-- to know what they are saying. We have to learn to live symbolically, metaphorically! The truth (the Truth) doesn't lend itself to the language of logic, intellect and rationality. The Truth comes to us in dreams and impulses that make no sense but speak directly to our heart. We have to learn to read/understand/intuit the language of Truth and Spirit in order to find our life and live it. What movies mean the most to you? What books stir something within? What moves you? What objects, animals, places, scenes, poems, stories, etc., bring you to life-- bring something within you to life? Dig in there! See what connections you can make there! What is going on there? It is as though we have been born into a mystery, and have to find the clues that lead us to the life that is our to live. And then, we have to have the courage, grit, determination, heart, etc. to live it. It is the adventure we were born for. And we just want to make a lot of money and be the envy of our peers. It's called selling out. It is also called living out of desire and fear. So. Are you up for finding your life and living it, or not?