Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the Universal Mime

“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”
from Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

When people are in grief or hardship, you often hear them ask things such as, “Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?”

But there is a rule which every culture of every age of the earth has weaved into its ethical framework, which, in practice, we find cannot be otherwise.

In Eastern religions and philosophies, it is called karma.

In Western culture, it can be summed up with a phrase from the Christian Bible; namely: “You reap what you sow.”

What I mean to say is: If you live your life built around clichés, you will get clichés in response.

If you are looking for a “light at the end of the tunnel,” then yes, you will find one. But most probably that is all you will find. You will not find the sun, but rather a flashlight, a flickering fluorescent bulb. There will always be artificial lights amidst—and at the end of—cliché tunnels, but never the sun or moon or stars or every manner of light which nature has provided for you already.

Clichés are not a comfort. They are an imitation of comfort, a distraction from reality. They are a black canvas strewn high over our heads with small holes poked through it: you think you are seeing the stars, but you are only seeing emptiness.

The universe always pays you back in kind.

You must ask—and answer for—yourself: What will be my payout?

If you seek mimicry, the universe will be a mime for you.

But if you seek truth and reality, then the universe will peel back its layers, slowly, one at a time, bit for bit, allowing you to see the clockwork behind it.

In this way, life heaps fewer surprises on us than we would have ourselves believe, and yet, more justice.

No, life does not always seem fair. But sometimes, when faced with adversity or—what seem on the surface to be—unfair situations, it is helpful to remember that how you respond to these times is another link in the infinite causal chain of universal reciprocity.

And it is helpful also to remember that society does not understand this or support this.

But the universe does not reward society with its fits and clichés; rather, it rewards individuals with their personal accomplishments and temperaments.

And, in time, it will reward you precisely as you have rewarded it.

If you want to be treated with kindness, be kind.

If you want to see beauty, make beauty.

If you want to be paid generously, give freely.

“These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs. Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
from Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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