Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Seek Truth or Create Reality, an Awkward Choice

[I wrote this by hand in 2003 and put it aside. It turned up today during a reorg.]

Sometimes small things in your life can lead to big insights. Occasionally even small inconveniences can provide his service.

I have the ability to blow anything out of proportion. And, mirabile dictu, I’ll tell myself it’s no big deal.

Feeling ambivalent about so many things that happen, good and bad, has become such a habit that I’ve been unaware of it. First, I over dramatize. Then, I put in perspective.

Until now.

It was the production of Angels in America that jiggled the handle of my habitual consciousness. The day after the last segment, the thought struck my mind that the penultimate issue in the play is the Job Question. (Old Testament Job.)

If you haven’t seen the play, the scene has “the Prophet” accusing God of walking away and abandoning child humanity. In the play’s context, it’s like Job demanding of God, “Why me?”

Notably, the play does not give the Biblical answer, “Because I am God and you are not.”

Instead it moves quickly on to the final issue. “We who suffer will yet impose our reality on the world."

These two issues that bring the play to a conclusion are point and counterpoint. They underscore the two great desires the soul has as it contends with the material universe.

The two desires are: 1. to know the Truth, and 2. to impose our will on the world.

Yes, we desire to know the Truth. Even if we deny the truth to someone else, we want it for ourselves.

We want to know what is the true nature of the world, of our own life, what await us in the future, what lies behind the door of death.

This desire for truth can only be completed by ultimate Truth, which is the being of God. How a partial truth can relate to the complete truth is a subject I can only speculate about. And it’s not a comfortable speculation.

I have the uneasy awareness that my previous partial truths were revealed, in time, to be mostly falsehoods. What credibility does that give to my present partial truths?

If we are determined to pursue truth until we get the whole thing, are we then committed to erasing every bit of ourselves that is personal?

On the other side of the polarity, we all have a story to tell, a song to sing, a dance to perform. We have an idea in our minds. We work to make it real, to manifest it in our lives. We actively engage in creating our own reality.

In short, we have these two ideas side by side. 1. We are seekers after Truth.
2. We create our own reality.

You can see how these two desires are incompatible. And yet, each is inherent in the human condition.

In the voyage of the soul, first we are searching for the truth, then we are toiling to produce our own truth. Then, back to looking for the truth, and again back to manifesting our own passionate desire for our unique truth.

To yearn for the Truth is to be open to revelation and change. The greater thing outside is invited in.

To create a reality means willing a result, reaching a goal, hitting a target. The definite within is manifested in the chaos outside.

How can we possibly have it both ways?

When the full weight of this dilemma landed on my head, my first thought was to let go of the create reality side and embrace only the seek truth side.

But how can this work if both sides are built in to human nature? They are intimately connected as an opposite pair, or polarity twins. Focus on one will draw the reaction of its opposite.

Can we let go of both? We let go of, “I want to know the Truth.” We also release,
“I want to see this happen.” What would you be left with, other than the present moment and nothing more?

And in that present moment, you perceive you have a task that is good to do right now.

Good. Then, do it.

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