Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why Be Good? (FINAL POST!)

I've decided to forego doing five separate posts on "Why Be Good?" and sum up the last two in this final entry.

I believe this conversation has been more than useful, if nothing else but to be a mirror for us to see ourselves. And after meditating on these things for weeks now, I'm starting to realize that the very first question itself can be questioned.

You see, when I ask "Why be good?," I am seeking motivation to continue doing what I consider "good" - because I feel like I am supposed to. Because I believe that behaving properly gets me somewhere (assures me love, acceptance, approval). Because I haven't yet figured out what life means without attaining something or doing things.

"Do not confuse (goodness) with compassionate. A compassionate person may be what we call (good), but compassion does not try to be (good). (Goodness) comes from conditioning. Compassion comes from the Heart and our shared connectedness."
[Cheri Huber]

What if there's nothing to do? What if there's nothing wrong with who I am and how I behave? What if you and I are totally accepted and loved and alive and perfect exactly as we are without labeling certain behaviors and attitudes as good and certain behaviors and attitudes as bad. That thought was not bad. It was just a thought. This action is not good. It is just an action. What if nothing is accomplished? What if we don't save or change the world?

"We label behaviors good and then continue to do them in order to support self-hate. Perhaps doing in order to be good is what keeps you from realizing that you are already good...We label behaviors bad and then continue to do them in order to support self-hate. Believing that what you do determines who you are could be the real reason for continuing the behaviors."
[Cheri Huber]

I realize that a few of you touched on this in your comments - especially Miss Julie who called the question as her opening statement. Trying to behave in a certain way stems from an embedded belief that we should be other than what we are. If, however, after time spent in meditation or spiritual practice, one realizes that "the universe is One, and acting in accordance with Harmony (being kind, compassionate, helping others) brings a peace that can't be found through other avenues" then behaving in that manner will only be the natural mode of operation. If not, it's no sweat off the universe's back.

"Do or do not. There is no try."

Hey Trev, it's not necessary to continue trying so damn hard. There's no real need to create universal treatises on good and evil or attempt to justify your (and others) behavior. This is and always will be just this. And it is beyond perfect. As the old saying goes, "God is on his throne and all is right with the world."

"You are perfect just as you are."
[Suzuki Roshi]


anonymous julie said...

The world keeps teaching us (and religion and politics especially!) that we have to be able to justify everything. I have an ethics textbook full of 'em - definitions of good and why we ought to be good. Philosophy's a great game to play.

what if we don't save or change the world?

Who's to say that you haven't already?

What if we're wrong about all this? (yes, I keep referencing my own writing, if for no other reason than to let you know that you have company.) Aye, I was stuck on Saturday for ages, now, just, on Saturday; Easter isn't coming, or already has, or already is, or never has, or never will - all of these, and none of them. Waiting for the chord to resolve? Forget it. Or as the ever-cool Pastor Curt said on Sunday; waiting for God to come down from heaven, aint' gonna happen. Finding that God is, right now, among us - that is real.

Nothing to hold onto, and nothing to hold you back. Terrifying, and liberating.

anonymous julie said...

Um... you might enjoy George Breed's posts over on his .

anonymous julie said...

And oh how my HTML is poorly written. Cosmocracy blog.

Celeste said...

You got it with this post, Trev.

isaiah said...

somr great stuff in this weeks posts- sorry I had to leave town and i'm away from the computer. Enjoyed the discussions and will see you soon.

Ethan said...

Thanks for posting some interesting reading. It feels a little out of my depth at times. I hadn't heard of Cheri Huber, really not much of a zen expert in general, but I really liked the quotes, they resonated. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your posts and I find many of them interesting. I notice that you dealt with a lot of duality in your discussions and I was just curious for myself why everything for everyone is always good and evil, right and wrong, yin and yang, or as someone earlier put it heads or tails. Why can't it be a pair of dice, no duality but multiplicity. Thats one thing I have never heard discussed much. Anyway great posts.