The rain is pouring, the frogs are singing their little hearts out and all seems right with the world at this very moment, in this one place. I know there are serious problems in the world and even in our own country, but in this now - my now - all is well. If someone would have told me ten years ago, one year, one month or even a week ago that I would be feeling at peace and harmony with the world right now, listening to the frogs and the rain, I probably would not have believed it. Not that it would be so inconceivable – these things happen far more frequently for me of late – just that in the realm of realistic possibilities for this moment, why this?
And the answer is…? I haven’t a clue. This is what happened. It is as it should be, for if it weren’t, something else would be happening. It may or may not be of the same peaceful nature; it may or may not have been… It doesn’t matter. Whatever is served up is right on time and exactly proper. So, is this moment predestined?
Yes – no - maybe. The answer depends on, to a certain extent, one’s belief system. Are we self determined, masters of our own destiny, limited only by our fortitude, our confidence and our will power? Or is there a spiritual component to life? Is sentience a quality of spiritual beings? Is the road for our lives laid out like rails or can we choose only among a limited number of paths? Is it possibly some kind of combination; a veritable mixing of the oil-and-water nature of self-determination and predestination?
Rhetorical? Perhaps not. Perception is key. The hopelessness I battled with for so long revolved around these questions. I was searching for the answers never really believing they could be answered to my satisfaction. I could not conceive of any “proof” that I could possibly accept. I thought I was an atheist, but that would mean my lot in life was of my choosing. I couldn’t accept the notion of predestination because it left me wondering what the point could possibly be. I needed some sort of proof, yet my view of life was being dictated by beliefs that had no evidence to support them either.
My perception was skewed to say the least. I was trying to force the square peg of my black-and-white beliefs into the round hole that is life. The answer, for me, is not predestination, but it is also not entirely self-determination. I have free will, no doubt about it. I exercised it without limit for a very long time. I know where it got me. I also believe that there are a set of universal principles in the world. A rev limiter on self will, if you will. These guideposts are there to direct; they help to guide one to a peaceful and harmonious destiny – not a pre-destiny.
These principles have been described in many ways at many times and in many languages. They are ideals that exist independently of cultural and geographical separation. They are the likes of: Honesty, integrity, responsibility, acceptance, love, selflessness, and many more. Once realigned with these powers, allowing them to dictate the next direction I took, my life – or rather, my perception of life, changed.
And it is so regardless of the specific circumstances I may be surrounded by. Indeed, life did not change, my role in it did. My appreciation for the ordinary, the mundane, the chores and even the difficulties of everyday life does not reflect any change in those things. It is all about perception. It is the “half-full, half-empty” paradigm. Those questions are therefore not so rhetorical after all. And there is no right or wrong answer. To me, it doesn’t matter how peace comes, what matters is that it does. My words here are an attempt to open the mind to the realm of possibilities that may seam foreign, as they did to me – but have meant so much.
Even those who do not practice “right living” know what it is. We know right from wrong. I believe we are born with it - but I'm willing to concede it is learned. Again, it matters not - these principles have put me on the path to peace and gratitude. I have seen it in countless others. For me, I just had to find a way to do it. For that, I had to have something to believe in .