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Fragment VI (Morning Song)

Fragment VI

Coherence

There is no universal way of looking at things, or, more precisely, none that a human can comprehend, because looking must, by its nature, be performed from one particular position and location, and there must be a looker, and every looker sees in his own way. Each individual reflects the world according to the gaze with which he looks outwards—a selfish gaze, a compassionate gaze, a lustful gaze, a rational gaze, a spiritual gaze. There is no universal gaze because a gaze has its source in a particular. When we look, there is only the experience of looking, there is only depth, color, and shape, but really we might as well be looking at a mirror where it merely appears that there is depth, color, and shape. Everything we see is on the surface of the mirror, and we are seeing nothing but colorless glass. Each individual understands the world in his own way and acts according to his understanding, and he alone possesses his understanding. No universal axioms can be applied to his will, and a rational understanding of the standard mind cannot be applied to his particular mind.

Yet, effects follow from their causes, and there is an ultimate origin from which all things have followed and will continue to follow. Events can be predicted, and there are natural laws. Within the divine origin is knowledge of all that will happen, and what emerges from the first cause is only what is a part of it expanding outward, so that all is the same as one. And if all is the same as one, then the one thing has the same will as all things, and so the individual’s will is the same as the divine will. But what the individual sees in his gaze is choice and action, and all that he sees is all that there is. Truths exist on multiple layers of the universe: it is correct for a human to say that yesterday she was younger than she is today, but because God sees all of time at once, it would be illogical for Him to make the same statement. Within the greater Truth, another human truth can contradict it without violating its nature. Contradictions exist until the deepest layer of reality, where they are all resolved.

An individual may act selfishly according to his own will and therefore against the universal will. That is a free choice and a contradiction, but contradictions only exist on the human level of things. In the levels of Being that exist beyond all appearances, there is no such thing as choice and contradiction.


?

What is realistic thinking? Is philosophical thought ever realistic? How can we claim that something seems nearer to the truth if we have no frame of reference, no context by which to judge anything? If I had never gone to the opera and watched Don Giovanni, how could I judge the justice of the Don’s demise at the hands of Il Commendatore? All we have is our experience of this universe, which is infinitely mystifying, and when we look closer we either think of it in much more abstract, metaphysical theory, or see it more simply. The saints have found simplicity after walking through complexity and obscurity.


More thought,

Or less?


It’s all very puzzling, how we know nothing about this world and yet are searching for things to believe. The concept of belief is strange, the concept of faith is paradoxical.


Remove all resistance, all efforts to change anything, to appear any different, to see anything different. The wisdom lays underneath what you think you are, and when you remove all obstruction to it, your life becomes the expression of that wisdom and the divine has a life in you. When you are lost: do not speak, let it speak. Do not think, let there be thoughts. Do not wait, let it act.

Things become more difficult at times, and everything that is simple becomes so complicated. Worry becomes despair, and the right thing to do is unclear. But that is precisely when strength is called for, to stand with a straight back and say no to all that is weak, easy, and selfish. One must be solid before one can be transparent. There must be a self before it can be dissolved, and the self must be dissolved to rest in the divine.



Confessions


Dawn

If someone pressed the muzzle of a pistol against my temple and told me that unless I answered his next question truthfully he would fire a bullet through my skull, and his question was simple—“do you believe that the design of the cosmos is random?”—what would I answer? I would be honest with myself regardless of how my own words made me feel. We do not know ourselves because we lie to ourselves, we wear our “beliefs” so that we see a more comforting reflection in the mirror and so others can understand us. We choose our beliefs for a certain time, for what suits a situation.

What if someone pressed a pistol against my forehead, with their finger on the trigger? What if that person told me that he would kill my family if I did not tell the absolute truth? Would I be able to find what I really believe and put it into words? If the gunman asked—“do you believe in a benevolent divine being?”—a younger me would say no, put my head down, and try to slow the cyclone of despair rushing through my mind. “Do you believe that bodily death is the absolute end of one’s existence?” Yes. “Are the wicked punished, and are the good rewarded?” Sometimes, but often not.

If he cocked back the hammer and tightened his grip on the pistol, and told me to answer now or say goodbye, I would say that I know what I believe, even though I cannot know what is true.

“No, the universe is not random.”

“Bodily death is one end, but the universe is made of infinite endings and beginnings.”

“Something else begins when we die.”

“The wicked do damage to their own souls, and that is punishment enough. Those who love unconditionally are filled with grace, and that is the greatest reward.”


Sunset

Everyone must make their own way and I am making mine. It used to be that when I sat down with a pencil and notebook I would write about a new trouble in my life and how to fight it. I was, at all times, fighting despair. Life has slowly changed in the past seven years, and especially in the past three years. But all paths of liberation must lead to the same end, or the same beginning; that is self-knowledge, to know oneself from the inside-out. Imagination, literature, art, risk-taking, travel, meditation, pranayama, physical feats, non-resistance to the natural elements, self-scrutiny, and ethics. This is my way, and I become better—smarter, healthier, and calmer—every day. I know that I must be humble, though. I have very far to go, many people to help, and so much to learn.


Thursday

Faith is a choice, genuine belief is either present or it is absent, though false beliefs are easy to construct. Faith is a way of being, it is a willing vulnerability to this world, and an acceptance of the possibility that you will be hurt. It is trusting that God will protect you: if you keep your eyes open and turn away from nothing in this world, not even from the sight of sin, then the Spirit will come into you and you will believe. Faith clears one’s vision and allows for belief to move in the right direction. With an open heart, truth pours in, and the right beliefs become natural.

There is no absolute declaration of truth, and scripture is only scripture for believers. There is no way to know with absolute certainty that your fiancée loves you, but you have to trust that there is and with time you will become certain. No one can tell you what is right and wrong; the only way you can judge your own actions is by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If the fruits of some way of life are despair, disappointment, and egotism, then that is not a righteous life. If the fruits are love, joy, and gratitude, then that is the life that God wishes you to have. Each of us has a way that we must walk, and none of us can do everything—as one man can only choose one wife, so one individual can only choose one righteous life.

But what is the basis of our faith, what guiding principle do we rely on? We may say that this world is not random, but then is it simple or infinitely complex? Do our souls live on past death as individuals? These questions must not shake you, and though you may continue to try to understand the divine truth, you must realize that you will never reach a definite explanation. You must be content with the answer: “neither and both.”

To say that we live to serve God is misleading: we live to serve others, and only serve God because this is what God wishes for, and God is in each person. It may be one person’s way to take care of orphans and another person’s way to write poems to lead those who suffer out of despair. We each must find our own way, and we must do that in solitude. This way is hard, and you must remember to be kind, and that the best part of life is the struggle.

But what is the nature of our belief, or our faith; what is the guiding principle behind this universe? We may say that this world is not random, but then is it simple or infinitely complex? Do our souls live on past death as individuals? These questions must not shake you, and though you may continue to try to understand the divine truth, you must realize that you will never reach a definite explanation. You must be content with the answer: “neither and both.”


Sunday

I have to leave, now. There is something that I must do and no one else will understand it. It is not for me, and I would rather not say that it is for anyone else, either. It simply is what I am meant to do. I will tell my family that I am leaving, but I will not tell them where I am going. It is better that way, because I have to do this alone and if everyone in my former life knows where I am then I will not really be alone. I think I will be gone around twelve months, maybe a little longer, but I also do not have a precise plan. I will give myself to those who suffer until I have changed something in a meaningful way.




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