UNIVERSAL DHARMA

This Too, Will Pass ~ INTRODUCTION

LIFE IS PRECARIOUS AND UNSURE; anything can happen at any time, without a moment’s warning; we live under the illusion that we are in control of our lives, but something tiny, trivial or unexpected can easily upset our best-laid plans and throw us into confusion. The surface of our Earth is like a skin stretched tight over a molten core, and may quiver and quake at any time, as it did recently in Turkey, killing tens of thousands, each of whom, like us, had their plans, hopes, fears and aspirations. Storms, floods and droughts wreak havoc; tidal waves cause devastation; disease stalks relentlessly. The only difference between now and millions of years ago, when such things happened, is that we can somewhat predict them and take precautions; also, we understand that they are natural phenomena arising from causes, and do not attribute them to supernatural agencies, as did our primitive ancestors, who sought solace and protection by prayer and sacrifice. Science has enlarged our world, pushed back barriers, and liberated us from the age of naïveté and ignorance, although many people find this uncomfortable, and prefer to close their eyes, deny what is, and live in illusion.

Where can we turn for security? We still grope blindly, searching for this elusive thing, just as the ancients searched for the ‘philosopher’s stone’ which would—they believed— enable them to turn base metals into gold. Well, there never was such a thing and there is not now. We have evolved and should be mature-enough to see how things are and accept the fact that life is insecure; insecurity is the primary condition under which we live. And by understanding and accepting this, we acquire a degree of flexibility and find, within the mind, something of that which we sought outside. It is a matter of struggling for something rather than against it. Security is to be found inside, not outside.

"Inside me?" some people will ask incredulously. "How can it be inside me? I’m a sinner, a miserable sinner!" It’s incredible, but some people—many people—still think like this, and believe that anything good can only come from outside them, from something higher and better than themselves, something they imagine will do everything for them if they only believe and grovel before it. It allows them to avoid doing what only they can do for themselves, and when it doesn’t happen, they fall back on what they’ve been saying all along: that they are sinners and do not deserve it; it’s a foregone conclusion.

I maintain that for religion to be viable today, it must be based upon reality, not upon conjecture, fear, or wishful thinking. It must be something we can experience and use in our relationships, something practical of the Here-and-Now, not simply a name to identify with. It must be something that imbues us with a sense of moral responsibility, that frees us from blaming others for whatever happens to us; it must help us accept, graciously and gratefully, our achievements, knowing that our ability to achieve anything has been created by all the generations before us, gradually evolving from what people were like early on to what we have become; we are here now like this because they were there then like that, not as a result of our own efforts. I have tried to present it as such in this book, the first edition of which appeared in 1990 under the title, TURNING THE WHEEL. Only 2000 copies were printed, and they were long ago distributed, so this year, I decided to rewrite and upgrade it; while doing so, a new title came to my mind: THIS, TOO, WILL PASS, in line with the basic law of life: Change. Apart from the few new articles, the old ones in this edition remain practically the same.


England, 1999.

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