“I can of my own self do nothing.” I am just coming to see how deep this truth goes. I was shredding my 2015 diary yesterday and came across this jotting: “Change nothing. Do nothing. All that is required of you, He performs.” It was in my hand, but I didn’t write it. Maybe Joel Goldsmith was briefly running things. Truth is, we do not know why we do what we do. An inner power acts; we think we’re doing something. “I did it!” we say. Or, expanding on the delusion, “High five!” Or shrivel up like a dried blueberry, as I did on a call-in show back in the day when no one called in. Are we actors? Plainly, no. We are the acted upon, the done-through. “Do you know how to do nothing?” asked Lao Tzu, pointing to the one thing we can be sure of: It’s all a mystery, top to bottom.
Suspended between wonderment and regret, the man asked, “Why did I do that?” Well, if we are a mystery to ourselves, we do not know ourselves. Knowledge is power. We cannot change what we do not know.
The world is temporal, meaning time-bound and finite. It came from nothing and is now in the process of returning to nothing. To paraphrase the timeless Stephen Hawking, ‘Why bother?’ Spare a thought for cosmologists! Still looking for a cause. Still not finding one.
Things happen unexpectedly. We often call these things accidents. But there are no accidents. If something happened, it had to happen. Things happen for numberless reasons. They happen because the universe happened.
Nothing changes until something dies. Or, at the minimum, is definitively ended.