Wednesday, October 23, 2013
As T. S. Eliot put it, "Ours is in the trying. The rest is not our business." The bodhisattva's job is to do the best one can, without knowing what the consequences will be. Have we already passed ecological tipping-points and human civilization is doomed? We don't know. Yet, rather than being intimidated, the bodhisattva embraces "don't know mind," because Buddhist practice opens us up to the awesome mystery of an impermanent world where everything is changing, whether or not we notice it. I grew up in a world defined by a "cold war" between the USA and the Soviet Union we all took for granted -- until communism suddenly collapsed. The same thing occurred with South African apartheid. If we don't really know what's happening, how do we really know what's possible, until we try? -David Loy
The message contained in the above quote is very important. It tells us that when we strive for the good, we should not worry about outcomes--whether we "win" or not, whether
our goals are achieved or not. Instead, we must work toward the desired outcome without concern for final results.
And, as David Loy notes, many things that once seemed impossible do take place, in spite of what we thought could be attained.
Think of all the unexpected changes in your own lifetime. For me, I have witnessed
the place of AfroAmericans in our society change radically from a time when it was taken for
granted that there were two ranks of citizens--the one privileged, the other rejected.
And of course, gay rights have come a remarkably long way in the last 20-30 years.
Earlier generations looked on gays as being somehow psychological misfits, to be shunned and even hated by the larger social body. No one would have predicted that the
primary issue of debate today would not be equality of jobs or housing rights, but gay marriage itself, which is now gaining wider and wider acceptance.
As for me, I continue to believe that radical spiritual transformation spreading throughout
the entire globe is a real possibility. I always go back to the swift awakening of kundalini that occurred to me when conditions made it seem impossible that something like that could happen to someone as apparently ill prepared as I was. Yet, awakening did occur, and left me with the conviction that if this is possible, then anything is possible.