Friday, April 9, 2010


There is a profound Buddhist doctrine that speaks of a great river that flows through all of reality. Once you have found yourself, there is no more cause for action. The river picks you up and carries you along forever after.

In other words, effort from the personal level, the kind of effort all of us are used to in daily life, become pointless after a certain point. This includes mental effort.

Once you become self-aware, you realize that the flow of life needs no analysis or control, because it’s all you. The great river only seems to pick you up. Actually, you have picked yourself up – not as an isolated person, but as a phenomenon of the cosmos. No one gave you the job of steering the river. You can enjoy the ride and observe the scenery.

Learning to step aside from your false responsibilities means giving up your urge to control, defend, protect, and insure against risk. All of that is false responsibility.

To the extent that you can let it go, you will stop interfering with the flow. To the extent that you cling, life will continue to bring even more things to control, and to defend yourself against. Risks will loom everywhere.

It’s not that fate is set against you. You are simply seeing reflections of your deepest beliefs, as consciousness unfolds the drama drawn up beforehand in your mind. It’s the universe’s task to unfold reality; yours is only to plant the seed.

Adapted from Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2009).

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