Mind how you go. Know what you know. Sounds easy enough. Nothing is more difficult. Except for freedom of choice and free will. How many of us chose to be where we are? Yet, we got here by freely choosing the choices that brought us here. Now. But. None of us was free to choose our choices. We say we are free to will what we want. But. We are not free to will our wants. We want what we want. We don't choose what we want. We don't know what to want. And when we know what we ought to want, we don't want it. My father died of emphysema on a ventilator wanting a cigarette. Free as a bird. Birds migrate when it is time to migrate. They have no choice in the matter. Birds aren't any freer than the rest of us. Flitting around in our life, talking about "our freedom" to do as we please, bound to what pleases us, incapable of being pleased by anything else. Free as a bird. Free as a termite. Free as the wind. Bound as it is by the heat generated by the ocean, forced to blow from west to east whether it wants to or not. Unable to quit if it tried. No problem--it can't try. Freedom isn't free. Nothing is. Minding how we go, knowing what we know, is as free as it gets. And who does it? I can't remember where I put the keys. I cannot know what I know. I think I am minding how I go, and trip on the door threshold. I am here, now, as the result of forces quite beyond me. The same as a pin ball on its course through the bumpers drains, flippers, habitrails and gobble holes. Minding how it goes. Knowing what it knows. Where do our motives come from? What guides our boat on its path through the sea? What determines what we say yes to, an no to? What positions us to think the way we think, and see how we see? What makes good good, and bad bad in our mind? What changes our mind about good and bad? And everything else? Where do our tastes and interests come from? Why do they leave when they go? Who is right? Who is wrong? How do we know? So, sit down and shut up about it. Be empty, still and silent. Find what you believe in. Know what you can trust. To what do you owe fealty? What deserves your liege loyalty and your filial devotion? Your unwavering commitment and sworn duty? What is the adamantine rock that grounds you and nothing can knock you off of? What do you turn to when you have nowhere to turn? What is the unwavering truth of who you are? Your source and your goal? Carl Jung said, "We are who we have always been, and who we will be." Who is that for you? Do not die without knowing! And live to be that in each situation as it arises for as long as life shall last! Whether you want to or not.
What do you need? To do what needs to be done? To do what needs you to do it? What do you need to be who you are, where you are, when you are, how you are? What do you need to be true to yourself, to your original nature, to the heart and soul of who you are, within the circumstances of your life in each situation as it arises, for the good of the whole insofar as that can be done? What do you need?
We ride it out. We carry on. By rising to meet the moment and doing what is called for in each situation as it arises throughout the day every day. Guided by our sense of the good and our loyalty to our deepest truth and our original nature in conjunction with the context and circumstances of our life-- while bearing the pain of the paradoxes at the heart of being human, seeing what we look at, knowing what we know. Life is not for sissies, and we are damned if we do, and damned if we don't far too often to feel good about what is done, but opting for diversion, distraction, and denial in the form of entertaining pastimes and trivial pursuits is nothing more than letting us off the hook. Which is what we do best, along with kidding ourselves, and telling ourselves what we want to hear, and shooting ourselves in the foot. Jesus died in the service of his idea of the good, which was in direct opposition to and defiance of, the idea of the good in the mind of the authorities of his day. Jesus was a pacifist revolutionary, like John the Baptist before him, and Martin Luther King, Jr. after him, and came to an end commensurate with the ends of pacifist revolutionaries in all times and places. What idea of the good guides our boat on its path through the sea? How good is the good we call good? Being right about the goodness of the good we call good is all it takes to live the life that needs us to live it in each situation as it arises all our life long no matter what, regardless of the end waiting for us. Regardless of the end waiting for us.