Truth is beauty, and beauty truth. I have forever gazed upon beauty and am thus moved to engage its dark shadow.
There is a lot of concern with free will. This is why many shun the concept of unity. We do have free will, or intention, also called choice, but we misunderstand that capacity. We err in our understanding of those choices. Whenever you chose one thing, you at the same time exclude another choice. This is the nature of the material world, and people think of it as choosing what they will have, and what they will do.
A Buddhist perspective on free will is the more choice you have, the less free will you have. You are free when there is only one choice for you to make. Yes. When they think of free will as actions and possessions, everything seems inconsistent, because whatever they will achieve will endure only for that moment. For whatever purpose they sought, that possession, that purpose, will last only for a time. Very inconsistent is it not? We are actually never choosing actions or possessions. We are choosing expressions. We are choosing what we will be, and what we are and communicate into the world, to the life in this world. This will endure.
You choose an item of clothing why? To make you look good, or just because you need a new shirt? You choose a new shirt because you believe in shirts, for whatever reason. Some cultures don’t believe in shirts, so wear them much less often.
I can give an example of practical application of this insight if you want. One at a time give me a choice you have made or make routinely.
I actually don’t believe in clothing, but it’s cold here. Ok there, clothing. So you do believe in clothing, because you don’t believe in being cold. Again choosing what you will be. Tibetan monks, though they live in a very cold climate, dress very lightly. Sometimes even partially, and they survive fine.
Hmm, a choice I make routinely is grocery items. I believe in food. Actually, there can be more depth to that. The awareness you embrace in making that choice. You tend to be very health conscious about food, so you are choosing to see value in the health of the human body.
I don’t believe eating is just to nourish. It is pleasure too. You are aware of the pleasure dynamic, so you are choosing joy and very likely not just in food. Some prefer sobriety, others prefer satiation. Both are valid and can co-exist in your experience.
Our beliefs are consistent, or perhaps consistency is an unexamined life? Consistency is balanced or unbalanced. We live on the surface and seek consistency in material affairs, most of us. This is imbalanced and leads to an awareness of mortality without seeing what endures. Thus insanity. Others choose to live more inwardly, and remain unmoved by surface data, or to be more honest, little moved.
So look for our consistency under the material? In harmony. This congruency allows for change. Harmony allows for motion, and eliminates any conflict on any level. You need never “fail”. Does my assertion that you need never fail make any sense? In seeing the true nature of intention, of choice, your every intention can in every moment be expressed. It won’t conform to an expectation, but honestly what does? With a right understanding of choice you realize that the choice is the success, and whatever happens from your choice is just a superficial consequence. So you can always try again, if you avoid the false doctrine of “consistency”.
Edison, when asked about his failures in inventing the light bulb, denied that he had any. He said he just learned ways that wouldn’t work. He saw the nature of human choice very clearly, and my secret of giving prolonged attention is quite simple. I reapply my attention repeatedly, that’s all.
I have to admit my attention span tends to be inconsistent even if the topic is interesting. You have no defect. No one has any defect in truth. They have a way of being, and choice in that way of being.
I will pay attention to what my soul needs to know. That is the essence of meditation also, and has been called the key to all wisdom even by the Christ. Reapplying your attention to it, soul first. You will find all things reveal themselves to you if you put soul first.
If in any moment you are confused about right action, your soul is never confused. Just give yourself that attention.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.One World class participants. Thank you!)