It is our place to be sure that our actions are in the service of balance and harmony, and not in the service of the forces of destabilization. Sex, drugs and alcohol are the top three most popular choices in the service of destabilization in the name of seeking balance and harmony. "Just a little more," can become all there is in short order, and there is nothing then to remove the massive degree of destabilization we achieve thereby. And, thus, the saying, "We meet our fate on the road we take to escape it" (Carl Jung). The solution is to meet-- and bear-- the pain at the start. To stand up to the forces of destabilization before they build up momentum and create karma. We have to say, "No!" early on, while those forces are young and malleable Changing our relationship with our life then, stops what is causing instability in the early stages of imbalance. We can't wait until they eat our life for breakfast, and begin looking around for lunch.
By acting out daily in full view of the entire world, Donald Trump-- as President of the United States, no less-- called forth the dark side lying latent in the immature and unbalanced throughout the land, every land. Everybody has something to be angry about. Masks and vaccinations for COVID19 became overnight symbols of resistance and opposition to all that is proper and appropriate about life together. Look at it as adolescents rebelling against the necessity of accommodating themselves to the requirements of adulthood. Trump is the eternal child-- the Puer aeternus--refusing to grow up, and drawing to himself all those like him in his infantile insistence that how he wants things to be is how things ought to be. We all grow up against our will-- or remain an eternal child forever. Growing up is an inside job, accomplished only by those who have the inner resolve to do what needs to be done whether they want to or not: Wear a mask! Be fully vaccinated! Etc. ad nauseam. Trump laughs at the idea, and says, "First I want you to do me a favor..." "I want" is the unending refrain of those who will not grow up. Growing up is the capacity to do what needs to be done-- and to go on doing it-- when there is nothing in it for us. Flash back to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Original Sin. The original sin is not eating the forbidden fruit. The original sin is The Profit Motive! "If we eat this, the world will be ours!" Or, as it is written, "The fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom," which, as everyone knows, was the path to happiness and glory everlasting. "First, I want a favor..." "I want. I WANT!" "I don't want. I DON'T WANT!!!" The "old, old, story," is being acted out today, with "acting out" being the primary mode of transmission. Refusing to grow up is the bane of human existence. And dealing with those who refuse to grow up was the agony of Jesus, who shouted, "How long must I bear with you? How long must I put up with you?" We know exactly what he meant. And if Jesus could not solve the problem of terminal immaturity, what chance have we? Our place is to understand that Jesus IS the solution to terminal immaturity-- that the way back to Eden-- the way to the Promised Land-- is death to our dreams of having our way. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” (Joseph Campbell). And "But first, I want a favor," has no place in this deal. There is only doing or doing not what waits to be done, namely, living our life on our life's terms-- As though it were our idea from the start. And if we do not die the death required to do that, we die the death of the eternal child living in the service of "I WANT!!!" all the way.
The Original Sin from a Taoist perspective is The Profit Motive-- the idea of what's in it for us. Taoism would say emptying ourselves of even the desire to be empty is the primary ground of being. That from the emptiness comes the silence that is the source of all than needs to be. And that what we get out of being still and quiet, and listening to the silence is the opportunity to serve our original nature in the eternal (Sisyphean) work of doing what needs to be done, where it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, no matter what, with nothing in it for us beyond the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it, in each situation as it arises, all our life long. Doing that is having it made from a Taoist point of view. It is being one with the heart of life and being-- and that is all there is to be.
In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell said: "(It is) a matter of being able to accept chance. The ultimate backing of life is chance— the chance that your parents met, for example! Chance, or what might seem to be chance, is the means trough which life is realized. The problem is not to blame, or explain, but to handle the life that arises. The best advice is to take it all as if it had been of your intention— with that, you invoke the participation of your will. Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitabilities of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure— the adventure of being alive. You’ve got to say yes to this miracle of life as it is, not on the condition that it follow your rules." "The adventure of being alive," is the path of growing up. Of taking things as they are, and doing what we can imagine to do with them. To take what happens and work with it to produce what it might become-- who we might become, as we are brought forth in our work with what happens to us day-to-day along the way. It is magical, it is miraculous, it is amazing, and it all waits for us to give our ascent and full cooperation to the task that is before us: being who we are (our original nature), where we are, when we are, how we are, doing what needs to be done, where it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, no matter what, with nothing in it for us but the joy of doing it, and the satisfaction of having done it, in each situation as it arises, all our life long.