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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's All Made Up

Every day on the news we hear about people fighting and dying for what they believe to be "right". As children we are given all kinds of rules about what is right and what is wrong. If you are like me you grew up feeling like there was some great value or benefit to knowing the right answer and doing the right things. I was not allowed to ask why, I was just expected to accept what I was told as the truth.

The fact is, it's all made up! The rules don't exist somewhere in another realm outside of our reach in a big rulebook. We make up all the rules; we write all the rulebooks. We invented all the religions; we established all the laws and morals. This is what our parents didn't tell us. This is why they tell us "don't ask why". Alas, this is what they themselves have forgotten, if they ever knew. The valid answer to "why" ironically is the one we have all learned to resent. The valid and responsible answer is "because I say so". I have come to acquire new admiration and appreciation for people who are willing to take the responsibility for what they create with the rules they make up or adopt and are willing to be responsible for instead of pretending that they are somehow connected with some supreme repository of truth and "rightness".

When I first got the significance of this I was filled with a great sense of peace. Suddenly there was no right way of doing things to defend no battles to fight, no right direction to go, nothing to kill or die for. But it didn't take long to discover that if there was nothing worth dying for, the implication was that there was nothing worth living for either. It was then that I discovered a whole new way of living. This new way of living had nothing to do with being right or wrong. What it had to do with was the simplicity of the value of life itself. All the rules and the voices in my head had overshadowed and drowned out the simple truth that life needs no justification and that it is valuable in and of itself. In this understanding there came a deep sense of gratitude, love and appreciation for the sacredness and exquisite beauty of all life.

So who am I when I'm not caught up in all my judgments about the rightness or wrongness of myself and others and my circumstances? I am an expression of life, love and beauty. And what of others? They are the same.

Am I saying that all judgment is without merit? No, judgment can be a valuable tool. But it is only valuable as a tool. It's not valuable as a way of being. When I become nothing but a collection of judgments about others, my circumstances and myself, precious little space, if any, is left for me to be the expression of life, love and beauty that I was created to be.


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