The peril of absolutes

Dolphin fin

Dolphin fin

Do you notice how often the mind operates in absolutes?

It so often insists that one part of life is ultimately correct, while the other is not.

Seekers everywhere entrench in one aspect of Life, insisting this is “the way”.

We might find ourselves thinking, “We don’t have to do anything on the spiritual path.”

This may be correct–at times.  But Life itself does many things. It pays attention, notices, thinks, feels, inquires and acts.  It’s a regular multi-ring circus of doing.

We then might find ourselves deciding, “We must do something to become enlightened.”

This, too, may become a trap if we strategically take this as a belief and attempt to implement. Because Life is also a non-doing game. Any attempt often strengths the ego, that capacity to want and not-want.

Spiritual folks can argue for lifetimes about the value of doing or not-doing. It can be helpful to look deeply at WHO is doing or not-doing any activity. Who is that mysterious chooser?  Is it really the individual, that peacock of personality?

When we look from the perspective of ourselves as individuals, it looks very much like we have choice. We think, we act, we choose. It seems utterly obvious.

However, if we’ve widened our perspectives to glimpse or realize oneself as reality, the game changes. We see choice arising effortlessly, with no central doer implementing action. Life arises, Life flows. It acts. It does. It doesn’t do. It’s a seamless sea of itself and we can’t really say anything about it. But we do and can experience it every single moment.

This sea of Life contains everything. Therefore, absolutes do not translate. Duality refuses to divide itself into sharp opposing categories.

When we hear a thought expressing, “This is the way it is”–take notice. It may be the way it is in THIS moment. However, in the next moment it’s likely another way. And in the next moment, it may revert to the first way. Then it’s another new path altogether, wandering a new stretch of the forest.  Life is ultimately creative, patterns flowing together and apart, constantly moving, constantly still.

This is why it’s difficult to utter anything which is ultimately true.  How can language do justice to such aliveness?  It can not capture the beauty of such a moving changing arising. It can only carve out slices of it, tidbits, and attempt to describe the finite in a way that doesn’t include the constant changing.

I watch thoughts labeling, discerning, judging, issuing absolutes. How slyly these absolutes attempt to maintain dominance! How cunningly they dissect the world into something manageable, clean, understandable.

Ultimately–how impossible. The flow arises again, falls away, creates something new in the next dolphin-fin of a sparkling moment.

One moment I find myself doing something.  The next moment…no doing required.


9 thoughts on “The peril of absolutes

  1. It has seemed to me that in that flow of Life no matter what we do (or don’t do) Life is just continually adjusting the whole picture to take it all in as though it was always supposed to be the way it is and actually there is a lot of truth in that thought – it always is as it is supposed to be – though I will hesitate to declare that thought absolutely true. Yet, what else could it be if it isn’t (as it is) ?

    Fondly !!

    • I like how you put this. “Life is just continually adjusting the whole picture”. And the thoughts you expressed seem pretty “true” to me right now!

  2. Just want to say “hi” and also thank you for this post. Finding myself “all over the map” — running the rapids of life 🙂 LOL!!! Sometimes “skillfully going around rocks, sometimes slamming up against them, getting twirled around, heading backward ~ giggle ~ It’s all good even when it’s not. Thank you for being the manifestation you are and for putting beautiful thoughts into beautiful words to make my heart sing. Judi

    • Hi, Judi, I know what you mean about those rapids of life. At times they are truly intense! If you can realize that it’s all good even when it’s not…that is wonderful. Thank you for saying hello and for your continual mirrored reflection and support.

  3. Absolutes can be a sticky subject for me, and a paradox. In this physical manifestation we are projecting, some rare absolutes are inevitable, but again temporary. Thus, the paradox. We don’t remain in this form for eternity, so in another form, the absolutes in a material world dissolve. This is a much more complicated subject for me, and I’m probably not making any sense, but that’s the gist of my pov.

    • You’re making sense to me. I have read recently that the spiritual journey may be a lot about becoming comfortable with paradox. And that can take awhile for many of us…

  4. My mother and I used to argue this point constantly. To her, everything was black or white ~ right or wrong, whilst I argued the opposite, believing, as you do, that absolutely everything is open to interpretation, your own opinion, and your feelings on any given matter at varying times. As I read this today, I was reminded of an Abraham-Hicks quote that I came across yesterday ~ “From the physical perspective, most of you believe that your beliefs are the right ones, and if you disagree with someone then they must be wrong. But from the non-physical standpoint, it is not seen as right or wrong. It is seen as the powerful diversity that stimulates thought, and from the non-physical perspective, you enjoy that diversity”. I consciously enjoy that diversity, even from the physical perspective. And I do hope that my mother, from her now non-physical perspective, knows that now. 🙂

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