Genghis Khan lamented that conquering and governing were two different ways of life, and mutually exclusive. Conquers cannot govern. It is the difference between ruthlessness and kindness. The Genesis command to "fill the earth and subdue it" is not a call to be stewards of the earth but a directive to conquer the earth as though it were booty and not home. Laying waste to life is no way to honor and revere life. The desert nomads had no experience with tenderness and mercy. They could win the victory, but then what? The Tao te Ching speaks to the futility of war, saying, in essence, "To win the war is to lose the point." The point is living together in ways that benefit everyone by taking everything into account. "Do your work and step back, letting nature take its course." Our work has to be done in the right way, at the right time, and serve the true good of all concerned. No contrivance. No exploitation. No seeking personal advantage, profit, benefit, gain. Subduing and conquering miss the point. And subduing and conquering are all we know. Police subdue and conquer. And everybody suffers from their refusal to govern with compassion and grace. We need stewards of life and property. Not bullies with guns and choke holds. Too many in law enforcement have agendas at odds with their mission of peacekeepers. Being peaceful themselves is the first step. Force is to be the last resort, not the first impulse. Help me pass the word.
We have to be ready for anything. We can have our plans and agendas, but life is always coming along to carry us away to a place quite different from anything we had in mind-- or would ever imagine-- Our place is to be carried along. That's how we got here. It is how we will get to wherever we are going. We may think we are achieving, accomplishing, succeeding, triumphing, conquering... but all the while, we are being carried along by forces we cannot comprehend through times and places we cannot make sense of to where we do not know. There is no destination. "There is only the dance" (T. S. Eliot). Which makes this moment the only moment, the most precious moment. Now matters most. How do we do now? That is the question from here on out. How do we do this, right now? How we do this, now, leads to all that follows. Doing this well-- the way it needs to be done-- has implications for the rest of our life. We hold eternity in the palm of our hand. There is no destination. There is only here, now. What's next is only an extension, no matter how different it is, it is just another here, now. We practice doing that well by doing this well. Here, now.
Look around. We would prefer for a lot of things to be something other than they are, but we have no reason to expect anything to be different than it is. Flip a coin. It's going to come up heads or tails. Why go off on it being one and not the other? If things were different than they are how much of that do you think we would want to be different still? It doesn't matter how things are, we have to work with them however they are. Our work is the same no matter what. We look around, see what needs to be done, and do it as best we can with the gifts, genius, daemon (sounds like "diamond") knacks, virtues, interests and qualities that came with us from the womb. We bring our Original Nature to bear upon our circumstances in each situation as it arises. And that's that. It doesn't matter what our circumstances are Our Original Nature remains the same, and our work in integrating our Nature with our circumstances remains the same. Our place is to see how things are and get to work. Heads or tails. It's all the same to us. Why get bent out of shape by it? Just get to work! Doing what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, when and where it needs to be done, in each situation as it arises, all day, every day. This is our Sisyphean Task throughout our life. How we approach it makes all the difference!