One Responsibility

Man loves to grapple, to wrestle. He loves to struggle with ideas, contend with demons, fight his adversaries, and battle evil. He loves to fight the “good fight,” to rally against injustice, and to vanquish an oppressor.

His history books are filled with tales of toil and resistance, the refusal to submit to forces greater than himself. The mightier the foe, the sweeter the victory. He erects statues and raises institution to commemorate his ascendancy and flies banners over great swaths of land to claim the spoils of his strife. He dares even to reach out to the heavens beyond, thumping his chest in proud contraposition to the beat of the music of the spheres.

Yet in all of this, he feels incomplete, unfulfilled. He quests to quench his restlessness, but that which he obtains provides only momentary relief from his existential angst. He maps the skies, sounds the depths of the oceans, and plants flags through the universe, but this puts him no closer to answering life’s most basic questions: Who am I and why am I here?

These two questions have persisted in the consciousness of man for eons, despite the waxing and waning of the influence of temples, mosques, churches, and the hallowed halls of academia and science. Man sits as the thinker with his chin upon his hand in the middle of all knowledge, spiritual and secular, perplexed and unsure of his provenance and purpose.

The answers he seeks, and the sense of fulfillment he longs for, are neither found within or without. Man can no more accomplish his way into these answers than he can hear them through being without achieving. In fact the answers are revealed at the intersection of his inner and outer reality, at the point where being and achieving cross over, that is, in the seat of his one responsibility.

We cannot force our way into this crossover point. Struggling with implies subjection to, always. We mustn’t resist evil, neither should we fall for the myth of the self-made man. The answer to these questions is not found in getting, but in letting. We must let go of so that we may let go to.

Letting go of the struggle is a prerequisite to letting go fully to the wisdom that leads into all knowing. So why not end the struggle now? Resist not evil. This is the beginning of wisdom.

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