Not having what you want won’t make you saintly. If you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, you might as well go ahead.
Choice is both very simple (perhaps one of the most simple things in life), and honestly also one of the most aggravating, frightening, complex things we do in life. The way we are brought up to view choice and to view life in which we make our choices, tends to make choice often seem like nothing more than “picking your poison”.
As is often said, we move through the world by choices and yet we see only half the terrain. We are often rudely surprised when the other half, the unseen side of life, causes us very real pain. We make decisions based on a view of reality that we are very much encouraged to have, but is a half truth. Is it any wonder things seem almost impossible to influence by choice?
Though even that ‘seeming’ is an illusion. You did in fact choose every element of the surprising thing. Life comes to use as a whole, not in the pieces we choose. Yet we are taught to see pieces and choose pieces. We are even told we can build a life of these pieces, but they tend to fall apart don’t they? They are not seen in the light of what Taoists call Te, which loosely means virtue. We don’t even see the forest for all the trees.
The inherent virtue of a thing (which is very much the focus of magical disciplines) is still a law in mundane life. People want control very badly. They are desperate for it, and they make choices franticly seeing only half of what’s there. The wise choice is possible, but the wise choice arises only from knowing the whole, not from its parts.
Even in the case of science and technology, science isn’t about knowing the whole. It isn’t about knowing the world, and yet we make choices based on science almost as a religion. Science in fact is about us. Science, seen for what it is, is merely a comprehension of the power of the human mind. But regrettably with the separation of science from spiritual understanding, that understanding of the human mind no longer has its context. Our understanding of the human mind has been reduced to yet another part. It’s bigger than that. When you make a choice it isn’t random. It stems deeply from within your nature, your soul.
Now to return to the Tao, the way we are all on, the way that fits no one persons definition. There are choices that are taken in light of understanding of the inherent virtue of the person, situation, or thing. These can be called wise, and there are choices that are taken without full understanding. These can be called unwise. But harm can come from wise decisions, and good from unwise ones, because the life that prospers or suffers does so for reasons other than choice. Choice is going forward on an action, and we are inherently choice making creatures. Our inherent nature is to express the infinite spirit inside us.
Human integrity, the unio mentalis to use the alchemical term, is possible. The being one being is very possible, and it’s the power of the one being funnelled through our condition. Our education of seeing half of the world, of seeing the world but not seeing ourselves in it (and we very much are) keeps us from that integrity.
We are told dreams aren’t real, and that they aren’t a basis for making a choice. What you dream at night arose from your previous choice, and even psychology shows that you do make choices even as you sleep. They do affect your subsequent behaviour. This is why they practice depth analysis still, though again seen out of context in a sterile mechanistic view. As a part that they need to fix.
Feeling. Supposedly we aren’t supposed to choose something just because we feel like it, but we do so all the time. Even those who swear they don’t. They just do a lot of thinking after they make their choice. They talk fast when they are confronted about their choice. Feel they have to justify. They do not have to justify. The one true justification, the force that moves us even despite ourselves, is that Te, that inherent virtue. Yet we are generally forbidden by society to give it place. To contemplate it, or to seek to share it with others.
Does a child give affection from abstract concepts of compassion or altruism? Do they smile because they have some idea of how they bettered themselves? In general, they don’t have any idea they are bad. So what’s to better? If they acquire the idea they are bad it’s not on their own, and is often given to them by force. Good and bad are merely views of what is after the occurrence and highly subjective and poorly prioritized. The parent who teaches their child they are bad has lost sight of parental love.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.