– The idea I hold about what is good or acceptable behavior implies (and sustains) the existence of bad or unacceptable behavior, for its identity, in my experience.
– Wait? What?
– I repeat. By clinging on to a concept of good, I attract (somewhat unknowingly) its opposite in my experience, and that, for the very identity (evidence) of the concept of good I hold so dear.
– Are you saying that I create my own hell by being self-righteous?
– Just exactly! As difficult as it is to recognize for the proud human intellect: “the root of wrong is the belief or concept of right.”
– Should I close my eyes, then, to the atrocities happening everyday against the planet and against humanity? Should I just sit around and do nothing?
– No. Nobody is advising for quiet resignation. Simply understand that a change of perception is required before deciding on a course of action.
One should not lose touch of the fact that “the observer is the operator of the observed.” I do not believe what I see. I see what I believe. Nay. I see what I am.
Nothing I know or am conscious of happens outside of me, that is, independently of my being conscious of it. My belief in good, therefore, must exist simultaneously with its opposite (a belief in bad) or not exist at all.
You doubt it? Tell me, then, how can I judge one against the other?
Thus, if I believe I am good, I must be bad also. And if I am bad, in belief, I must be good too. Often, I will project one or the other quality onto another and say it is not-I.
In truth, this is a fallacy. I am my world.
Though disconcerting at first, in this realization lies true power. “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so”, writes Shakespeare. Surely, he must have caught the fact that his thinking was making his world.
– What, then, should I do? How should I live? you ask.
– Perhaps, the first and necessary step must be as inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Delphi and deep in the heart of all men and women: namely to ‘Know Thyself’.
To know oneself is to under-stand Reality. Reality is that which stands-under appearances and concepts. To understand It is to be It. That which Is isn’t conceptual and, as such, cannot be defined. It Is. It preexists and is the condition for the transient, limited and finite views of things we all share. The poet Rumi paints it beautifully when he writes: “Out beyond ideas of right doings and wrong doings, there is a field, I’ll meet you there(…)”.
Sages, seers and saints, throughout the ages, have referred to the path of Self-knowledge as ‘The Middle Path’, the ‘straight and narrow way’, or even the ‘Tao’. To know oneself is to know all men as Good (God), Being, in and as Reality. And yes, that even includes Donald Trump…
It is to acknowledge Good in all ways, that is beyond concepts of good and bad. It is not condoning actions that engender pain and suffering but, rather, it is to stand on the rock of Truth while surfing the paradoxes of human existence. Then, adequate action must necessarily arise, not out of judgment but out of an inspired sense which, by its very nature, takes in and as itself the larger picture, the well-being of all. It could be called Love in action.