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Who Is There to Do Something?

| Nirmala | Practical Pointers

Who Is There to Do Something?

Published on
04 January 2010
Practical Pointers

Life is going to unfold however it unfolds, and there isn’t a lot we can do about it. Still, we can do a little to affect how it unfolds, and that is also part of the unfolding. So when I suggest you check what is true, it is to affect this little bit that we can do and that we can choose.

Q: Who could do this? It seems our view of this affects everything. So who is this “you” that you are referring to? It seems the I is only a thought.

A: This question about doership is a very fundamental one. But humor me for a minute: Before you read any further, reach up and touch the top of your head. The you that can determine what’s true and isn’t very true, and the you that can make choices and take action is the same you that just tapped the top of your head.

The bigger truth is that life will unfold according to the will of the divine. If you leave out this truth, you will suffer from thinking life is all up to you, which is a setup for either a sense of failure or false pride. However, if you leave out the smaller truth that you still need to choose and act, you will suffer from thinking there is nothing you can do. If this incomplete view is taken all of the way to its logical conclusion, then there is no one to ever do anything, and you might as well just stay where you are right now and starve to death. But even then, you haven’t escaped the smaller truth, since you will find that you have to choose to keep sitting there, even as you get hungrier and hungrier.

The balanced view is to leave everything up to God, except what’s right in front of you to do in this moment. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep. If you are sick, find a way to heal. If there is a choice to be made, check what is truest to do and then do it. Then you can forget about the results of your actions because that part isn’t up to you. That part is up to the bigger truth of God’s will. There’s a line in the Tao Te Ching that goes something like this: “Do your work and then step back.” This points to the truth that our actions are up to us, but the results of our actions are not.