Life and the World Are Becoming Liquid
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017)
* Quietness is a source of efficacy. As one learns to better retreat from action into contemplation, one attains to a greater effectiveness in the outward world. In fact, right action, inner contemplation and detachment from results usually coexist in time and place.
* The deliberate upward movement of one’s soul provokes a realignment in the lower layers of one’s Karma which is not necessarily pleasant in its purifying procedures. The symmetry between the higher and the lower is unavoidable. Firmness and transcendence are necessary in all occasions and at every level of the pilgrim’s consciousness.
* All forms of harmonious syntony must grow in time or else fail and cease to exist. Love for truth is no exception to the rule. One’s ability to place a lucid understanding of facts above other goals - and search for truth in itself - can only expand little by little. It takes time to leave aside comfortable consensus or pleasing appearances and choose hard facts, a habit which gives us a higher order of contentment.
* Self-organization and realistic planning allow us to transcend small topics, study universal laws and search for eternal knowledge. He who does not want to organize himself regarding external aspects of life will find it hard to make serious decisions involving his spiritual soul. Self-organization produces peace and silence in the inner world of the pilgrim, and this expands his consciousness.
* Once we see the quiet presence of the Universal Law in daily events - everywhere and in any century -, peace gains strength in our soul. Placed on the firm foundations of tranquility and wisdom, efforts to attain objective goals become more effective.
* The beauty of life is in its limitlessness, as long as the world of form is concerned. The baby being born, the insight coming to us and the Sun rising in the morning all speak of renewal and transcendence. And yet stability is also part of the beauty of life. Relative permanence is necessary for one to understand the very ideas of spring, birth and change.
* I must not disdain the challenges that wait for me before I attain my goals. They are my teachers, I must learn from them. However, the best way to face obstacles is to carefully examine them, to place them in the wider context of my soul’s learning, and concentrate on the practices of right view, right understanding, right contemplation, right action. By thinking mainly of that which is correct and acting accordingly, mistakes are overcome.
* One thing is the total amount of duties, tasks, lessons, privileges and opportunities waiting for me. Another thing is how I organize myself and plan my activities, so as to create good karma and attain my main goals. Time and Energy are two natural resources of great value. Using them in wise ways is a science in itself, and part of the art of sowing that which we would like to harvest.
* The attachment to lower levels of perception prevents the pilgrim from proceeding along the uphill path toward truth and makes him feel like a bird that can’t fly. Renunciation to blind attachment liberates one from unhappiness and enables him to be effective in all departments of life, including material duties. The soul can fly as a bird while at the same time its outward dimension as a pilgrim walks on firm soil.
* An anonymous theosophist wrote, a few years ago: “A lack of moderation is an absence of respect and love for oneself. One’s purpose must be to serve equilibrium and express love.” Indeed, a sense of balance is necessary for the student of esoteric philosophy to deal with the sharp contrasts produced by life. Self-knowledge generates self-confidence, and self-confidence in time will pave the way to moderation.
* As long as my horizon is narrow and my goal remains limited to short-term timing, a sense of failure will fortunately teach me the art of obtaining a broadening horizon, and the science of searching for a bright, lasting goal. And when my horizon becomes wide and my goal impersonally includes many thousands of years, then my short-term actions will be far more important - because they will unfold in a larger context.
* Sudden change often takes place after many delays and constant postponements. The change in the consciousness and Karma of our mankind is getting quicker in our century. Falsity becomes unsustainable, and social structures based on illusion get increasing unable to resist their own weight. Truth shines, and all that it shows is not beautiful. Yet no one can stop the Sun from rising in the morning.
* Artificial spirituality tries to deny and ignores the physical aspects of life. True wisdom teaches us instead to gradually reorganize every department of daily existence on the basis of our perception of the Law. All life is sacred if looked at and transformed from the point of view of the Soul. The physical body is a temple and it can be respected as such. One’s emotional world is another atmosphere in and around the shrine. So are the thoughts, ideas, higher impressions and one’s central, noble purpose.
* Perceiving the truth of the existence of a reincarnating Self in each human being is a great source of peace. It changes our relation to eternity and makes us become friends of endless time. It also improves our relation to passing aspects of life. Each minute becomes more meaningful, and the years and decades ahead are seen as part of a broader context.
* Peace and order use to go together. Human conflicts can be understood as symptoms of a deficit in order. Disorder generates frustration and hostility. Order can only exist where harmony is present; and harmony, on its turn, needs knowledge. With these elements, we have a virtuous circle that deserves study and observation. Knowledge brings about a perception of unity. Conscious unity is the substance of harmony. The dynamics of harmony opens the door to a natural order, and order produces a lasting sense of peace.
* Many kinds of karmic acceleration make it hard for people to think before acting, and to duly observe facts, before making decisions.
* Whenever someone or a social group loses contact with the ethics of higher levels of consciousness, the result is a sudden feeling of pride and an exaggeration in self-confidence. The individual or collectivity then gets euphoric and leaves aside things like moderation or prudence.
* In times of sudden karmic acceleration, one must keep to the fundamentals and avoid all thoughtless conclusions. Blind attachment to appearance and circumstances is a trap. Inner silence and a profound independence from established ideas are effective protections to him who searches for wisdom.
* The Law of Ethics and Equilibrium loses nothing by being ignored, but those who try to leave it aside have much to lose.
* When truth is suppressed for a long time, it may come back with a large and profound implosion of sophisticated structures that are based on illusion, and often on fraud.
* Sincerity may be difficult to accept sometimes, but it gives strength to living structures. When it is consciously ignored and denied, it becomes increasingly “unbearable”, until truth comes back and destroys whatever stands on its way. It then makes the entire landscape of karma change.
* Since human beings are the fundamental building blocks of every group, institution or nation, it is only by the self-improvement of the individual himself, in the first place, that social structures can be corrected.
* Humanistic efforts have a decisive importance in human future because they offer stimuli and useful information to those who want to improve themselves, who try to cease making unnecessary mistakes and practice the art of right action. The moral quality of social life also depends on long and short Karmic cycles which are the subject of deep studies in theosophy. At any point of the cycles, however, to do one’s best is a safe source of inner bliss.
* Life is getting “liquid”, as Zygmunt Bauman wrote in his books. Forms and structures are melting. Everything seems to be falling apart. Not being a student of esoteric philosophy, Bauman could not see that life is becoming astral, in reality, and that this has at least two sides. On one hand, our lower selves lose a lot of certainties they used to have, and which - by the way - were false, although they gave us comfort. On the other hand, we painfully learn detachment from outer form and obtain freedom of action in a wider horizon. There are of course gains and losses in the fact that life becomes more astral, or “liquid”, and less physical. Considering all factors and levels of consciousness involved, no one has reasons to complain.
“Thoughts Along the Road - 34” was published as an independent text on 09 July 2019. An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, May 2017 edition, pp. 10-12. A few short notes written by the same author and anonymously published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form the article.