As Within, So Without

“I am the truth.” -Hallaj

          I have been pondering inevitability, particularly the causative link between how I think and feel (in other words, who I am) with what sorts of things happen to me, for me, with me, around me. While most people acknowledge how the world shapes them, it seems that far too many people fail to appreciate the way in which who and what they are shapes the world around them or, at the very least, their experience of it. Obviously there’s more to fate than character alone, but the fact is that one’s character serves as the absolute regulator over all the possible engagements that one can choose to have with all outside forces. Unfortunately, it appears that for most people these outside forces really do seem to be completely responsible for their destinies. Magicians and mystics know far better however; because, for better or for worse, we know that our fates flow directly from the magical force of our eternally interpenetrating spirits.

          In an effort to move beyond the limits of this sometimes frustrating trap, I have been attempting, as of late, to engage the world with a more exploratory, less judgmental, attitude; changing my inevitable insides to change my inevitable outsides. Throughout all of this I’ve tried to hold firmly to one single peace of good advice: Embrace things as they are, without being draw away by any sort of wishful fantasies about how they “should” be. Sounds wise, no?

          Well, actually, it isn’t… at least not indefinitely. Eventually I reached the conclusion that this was only good advice in theory; In practice, the very act of assuming that knowing the world “as it truly is” was to know it as something completely divorced from my own additions, deletions, projections, and, most importantly, perspective, was simply a lesser conceit than the one I was attempting to escape, and a far more dangerous one at that. Perspectives are not just a limiting obstruction of reality; they are reality, or, at least, the reality that matters most.

          Don’t misunderstand me. I still absolutely believe in the virtue of objectivity (just because it can’t be absolutely obtained doesn’t mean we all can’t and shouldn’t try to approach it in degrees) and obviously a lot can be said for maintaining an open mind, but I believe that true virility, that thoroughly misunderstood and perhaps nearly extinct beast of a bygone mythic age, demands a certain degree of unapologetic judgment.

          However, I should also state here that I freely acknowledge the spiritual value of any practices, however misguided these may prove to be in the long run, which help to temporarily free us from the tyranny of our own opinions. After all, isn’t that the primary goal of almost all mystical paths to enlightenment?

          A noble goal, I guess, but not mine; in the words of Frank Miller’s Batman, “The world doesn’t make sense until you force it to.” Mystical and yogic practices may help alleviate or release some of the pain of our various individual struggles, but when these attempt to extinguish the struggling itself, they become a cure far worse than any of these so-called ailments, or, as I often like to refer to them, my “medicinal detriments.” In closing, may your own suffering be swift and glorious and fuel your will to continue to fight the good fight. Namaste.

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