Selfless and Purposeless

I want to now examine the difference between interpreting phenomena in terms of persons and interpreting them in terms of nature as a whole. I am beginning to see that it is the former view which tends to lead to stress and anxiety and conflict and suffering as it provokes the competitive element within us and leads us into ego-battles. When a motorcycle drives past me roaring violently and vigorously through my bones, it is my view that there is a person driving the motorcycle which incites my anger at the disruption. It is only because the belief arises that someone has acted in a way that infringes on my right to peace and has done so intentionally that I feel anger. If I were to switch my view and think it nothing more than a movement of nature itself, the anger does not arise. If we think intentionality away from the equation we are left with nothing more than the interdependent whole within which there are no agents but which is itself the only agent. So, it is the guiding hand of nature which brings the events of my life thereto. Even my own actions are not my own, but belong to nature whose endless striving manifests every moment in an infinity of phenomena, all identical in essence, different only in appearance.

Now it is becoming more and more clear to me the profound peace that can be experienced if such a point of view is accepted at the deep levels of the mind, as a belief and a view taken to be true, even though its certainty has not yet been established, and the lack of which is compensated for by faith. It leads to a fundamental acceptance of everything and an end to the personal striving that is bound up with views of the false self.

However, a crucial question still remains to be resolved which is whether or not the course of life is predetermined or not. It would seem to be the case if causality in the world of appearances is taken as absolute and invariant. If there is no event that can possibly take place which has not been conditioned by events before it, then knowing all the events of today would lead to a knowledge of all the events of tomorrow. Well, but this is not exactly the same thing as pre-determination, as that requires that a being purposely set the course of life with a hidden agenda and a larger purpose for all of life. It seems that the idea of purpose is bound up in metaphysics and Schopenhauer’s irrational, blind will does not fully satisfy this idea as it is a purposeless striving with no final end to the striving. However, the perilous question remains: how can there be a striving without aim? Is such a thing even conceivable? Also, if the will can be equally be called will-to-life, isn’t that a contradiction to “aimless striving” as in that case life seems to be the end that is aimed at? These are some very difficult questions and are by no means to be resolved here and now but later after fermenting in my mind thanks to their being brought into clear expression through the tool of Reason.

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