Friday, February 19, 2016

One Step at a Time

Wise people are advised never to get ahead of themselves -- which means they are thinking too far ahead of their actions and reactions -- and thus have little connection to what is actually going on, from moment to moment.  Thus, obviously, they are never "in the moment," but invariably, "out of it."  That is obvious to everyone else but themselves -- whose actions are inappropriate, because they have little to do with the exigencies of the moment.

So it matters very little where they eventually hope to end up, if they have no idea how to take the first step -- leading to the one thereafter, and in that manner, actually getting to the place they only imagined at the start.  But that "envisioning," is not nearly as important as the awareness of where they are, and what they are doing momentarily -- and can respond to every contingency appropriately -- which is the kind of conditioning that has high survival value, and one can be confident, that no matter what situation arises, they will do the appropriate (right) thing -- rather than just the socially (politcally) "correct" thing -- often with disastrous results.

It does not so much matter, if one always does the right thing, but always gets the wrong results -- no matter how certain they are.  That manner of doing, tends to undermine one's confidence in doing everything, so in the end, they are certain that nothing they do matters, because they never get the result they hope to achieve.  That sense of helplessness and randomness of experience, lead many to feel that bad things happen despite their good actions -- rather than seeing the truth of the matter that it is obviously the wrong action.

Thus the Buddhists were among the first to point out the importance of "Right action," as being the cornerstone of "enlightenment" in this world.  It is not enough, to know one thing, and do something else, and think there could be the productive results of integrated action and activities -- as though nothing is related to anything else.  The essential connection, is the truth of that moment -- and not the promised truth six months from now.  Things that work, work instantly and immediately -- or they don't work at all, which only becomes more apparent in time -- but time may not be what one has to waste.

The truth is not what is learned and remembered, but is rediscovered and reproven from moment to moment -- in everything one does.  It is not just what a few "experts" do, and then tell everybody else the truth of the matter -- but what each discovers for themselves in living every moment.  That is the truth and reality of everybody's life -- and no longer the world of a few specialists and experts who "know," and those who must believe everything they are "taught," by those claiming that authority.

That is what the primitive (prescientific) society was -- the world of a few, who told the others what to do, and what to think -- and that was the way people thought ought to be --  was the only way to be.  Hopefully, we know better now, unless we find ourselves in cultures that still revere those authoritarian hierarchies as the highest ideal -- and long for the restoration of that social order.  That is also familarly, the world of one's childhood -- of which an unfortunate few regard as the best of times, who hope never to grow up -- and always have authorities around to tell them what to do.

They will never become the mature adults who assume responsibility for all that they do -- and are proud of that fact.  Those are the people who come to feel that the world they live in is that of their own making -- and not a destiny beyond their control, and only other people, can do something about -- to make more favorable for them.  The problem with that, is that those others in control, are usually acting in their own best interests, and not necessarily everybody else's -- just because they have the power, and think that is what makes right in every case.