Monday, July 6, 2009

Your Life Is Not Fair! Good Thing...

In his book Life 101, John-Roger writes:

“What if life were perfect? What if you lived in a perfect world of perfect people and perfect possessions, with everyone and everything doing the perfect thing at the perfect time? What if you had everything you wanted, and only what you wanted, exactly as you wanted, precisely when you wanted it? What if, after a perfect length of time, you decided, “Perfection is a perfect bore!” What if, at that point in your perfect world, you noticed for the first time a button marked “Surprise!”? What if you walked over, considered all that might be contained in the concept of “surprise,” decided, “Anything’s better than perfect boredom,” took a deep breath, pushed the button… and found yourself where you are right now—feeling what you’re feeling now, thinking what you’re thinking now, with everything in your life precisely the way it is now, [hearing] this?”

Life isn’t fair. How could it be? If it always tried to be fair, it would be taking from one to give to the other, but couldn’t do that because it wouldn’t be fair to the other, so it couldn’t take from that one to give to this one, because…well, it becomes obvious when deeply--or even lightly--considered that fairness to one is unfair to the other.

The universe in its infinite wisdom operates without fairness to anyone or anything. Except in one way: Life is equally unfair to all. At least through surface appearance. Look again. Notice that the unfairness, the disasters, the suffering are all equally distributed. And so are gravity, electromagnetic energy, the beautiful spring days, the delicious fruits, the smiles. Everywhere we look, the unfairness is fairly passed out to everything and everyone. A loving and intelligent and playful—yes, playful—creator has worked its magic in such a way that the thinking creatures can figure it out, at least a little.

When viewed from a loftier position, a position that steps outside of personal suffering for a moment, the world and everything in it is unabashedly fair. Adversity and advantage are poured out to all. That doesn’t mean that the thinking creatures will be able, or even willing, to always recognize that truth, but there it is, nonetheless.

You, on the other hand, are not always as willing to be so fair. You often want and even take without giving back. You ask silly questions like, “Why would God allow innocent people to suffer? Why would God create a world like that?” You fail to look, to observe, to absorb the ultimate fairness of the universe, of life, of God. Life is allowable only through contrast. We recognize light only because there is darkness. We can experience great joy only because we can endure much suffering. We can relax only because we’ve been tense. Without its opposite, nothing can exist. Only through contrast can both suffering AND serenity be experienced. It can be no other way.

Take a moment to look deeply into your own heart, your own mind, your own life. See where you may have declared the universe unfair; examine any resentment you may have experienced because things don’t always go as you want them to. Here’s an experiment in fairness: Think back about, oh, four years. The month is August. You have been through a moment of personal trial. What is it? Do you remember it? How does it affect you in this present moment? Is it intense or has most of the emotional attachment passed?

There is a good chance that you can’t recollect a specific trial or tribulation in August four years ago in any real detail. Why not? Because first, you have moved on for the most part. The universe has given you the ability to bounce back. And you have. Second, you will naturally change, rearrange, and recreate many of the memories surrounding that incident. You might even suffer more now than you did then! That's the nature of memory.

Now, you may have a memory of a trial in August of four years ago. But it can only affect you here in the present moment if you so choose. You can hold onto unfairness, or unforgiveness, or self-pity. Or you can recognize your own complicity in those choices. Once recognized, you will step out of them into more joy, more peace, more abundance, more success, more love.

Turns out, it’s all really quite fair. Don’t you think?

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