The World Is Not As It Ought To Be, It Is.
This post has arisen from the demand of a lot of people to change the world. It is a demand I had felt and acted on for many years in my life. It is a demand that still arises in my mind from time to time when I witness the state of humanity, mostly our relationships with each other. It is also a completely destructive, albeit pervasive, belief infecting a large portion of human kind.
The ‘why’ is obvious. Why do I want to change the world? Noble or ignoble, right or wrong, good or evil, the desire can be traced back to my own vision, my own desire to see things as I want them to be. To change what is into what it should be. This desire is everywhere, inside and outside the individual. The same drive to change myself becomes the drive to change others, becomes the drive to change the world. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is no disputing certain relationships people have with each other, or for that matter ourselves, are not healthy, are not fair, are not justified, are downright intolerable! However, my interest is not in passing blame or building a fortified tower of righteousness that I can look down on the rest of humanity from! My only interest is understanding.
So let us look at this issue, a fundamental issue for all of humanity, a little closer. How will I change the world? What avenue will I travel down in order to change the world? Will it be a groove already laid down by others before me? Will it be a slight adaption of a groove already laid down? Will it be a totally new way I’ve thought up? Clearly, no matter which way you go in order to change the world, you are following a groove in the mind, which is a belief. It may be your own belief, or it may be the belief of another, but either way you are conforming to a particular belief and attempting to implement that belief on others. And so there will always be resistance to that from those you are trying to convert, or bend, or persuade, or influence, or force. Even the best of intentions, if they are ‘your intentions,’ ‘your belief,’ will end as all others, met with resistance and ultimately distorted.
Now clearly we haven’t quite learned that simple lesson when dealing with the world and our desire to change it so let us move to a space that we can come into direct contact with this resistance, this fact, this conflict that is created through attempting to implement a belief on another. This space is called ‘myself.’ Like a tide that goes in and out, this desire to change the world is the same desire as that which desires to change you! And since the world seems to be too large and out of control to sensibly see the consequences of my desire to change it, let us look at ourselves.
For each of us is intimately aware of the desire to change ourselves, right? To become better, to improve, to change from this to that, to overcome, striving, struggling, making an effort…
Next week I’ll be a nicer person, after my three month practice I will always be calm, once I leave this situation I will find peace, and on and on and on.
So the desire to change ‘what is’ into ‘what it should be’ can be absolutely observed, completely, within oneself. AND this desire is the same desire that drives changing my spouse, my friend, my country, the world. So, in order to understand, we put the world, and everyone else in it, down and look at ourselves. We put the ‘other’ person down and look at ourselves. And when we do so, for the sake of understanding, honest reflection reveals the entire mechanism of change, resistance, habit, settling, ignoring, avoiding, etc. And so we now see that I may not be what I should be, or ought to be, but I am what I am. And it is this coming face to face with what is that opens a door never walked through before. It is not a doorway to belief, nor a doorway created by thought. It is the doorway of understanding, and understanding brings it’s own order. Understanding is order. It is a never ending movement inseparably interwoven with the movement of life and love. Through understanding, conflict with ‘what is’ comes naturally to an end, and when there is no longer conflict with what is, what is…is not. But DON’T take my word for it, find out for yourself. Your attention is all that’s required.