Friday, December 15, 2006
A View of the Beginning and the End
The Ancients were people more of the spirit than of the earth. They worked with subtle forces and they were in complete unity: with each other, with nature, and with the source. They had little use of mechanical contrivances, since magic worked. Seen from outside they were simple - even primitive - but their inner life had a scope and an intensity that we today are rarely capable of and do not readily allow to flourish in our lives or to manifest in our culture. They had little impact on the earth, but what they left bears witness to their greatness.
Such people had no need to talk about the Way (Dao); they were living in accord with it. Yet, since they had allowed the dream of creation to take form, and since the principle of imbalance is inherent in duality, the negative emotions began to grow. Lust and greed, envy, hatred, and insensitivity to others broke the faith of the early times; the Golden Age collapsed, the great hypocrisy arose and misery struck the human race.
All is cyclic and what was in the beginning is not different from what is now. Yet, though nothing is new under heaven, nothing is ever the same. There are not two waves in the ocean that have exactly the same shape and movement. What happened during man’s evolution is not different from what happens in the evolution of one individual: in the womb is the journey from one-celled being through the animal realms to the human form; then in childhood is innocent purity, but too soon it must be assailed by the influences of the environment which acts on the seeds of evil and brings them to sprout and flourish. Will it end in destruction? I think so. But destruction of the old gives life to the new and that which survives is the indestructible, ready again for a pure start.
The essence is light. The shadows are illusory; how could they ever overcome the light?