Circumstance As Effect Rather Than Cause
The Union Path Podcast
"Circumstance As Effect Rather Than Cause"
It'd be very easy to misunderstand or the very least misattribute why things happen. So many of us, this seems to be. The focus of our lives, especially when we start down this spiritual path. Ultimately, what we're looking for often are things like truth and meaning. We want to really understand our lives.
We really wanna understand the world we live in. We really want to understand and be able to wrap our arms around this existence. We find ourselves in that so many things can be so confusing. So many things can be so bewildering. We can go through life. Getting blindsided by things we never even knew were possible.
And yet, these are the circumstances that we have to deal with. And being sensing beings, being beings that have eyes, have ears, have a sense of touch. Have a sense of taste. Have a sense of smell, it can be really easy to down our understanding of life, of existence, of the world through our senses. Through what we see, through what we perceive.
And for many of us, this is the first spiritual step and it is a critical one of really coming to grips with what is happening. Learning to pay attention, learning to really engage our senses, learning to really drop our focus on the past or the future and connect with what is, and usually the most successful way to do this is through our senses.
We can use our sense of hearing to really learn how to listen. We can use our sense of sight to really learn how to see. We can use our sense of taste to really experience what we take in, what we ingest. We can use our sense of touch to understand our external world, understand the interactions that we have on a physical basis with our external world.
But really getting this present moment awareness, increasing our awareness around our senses is really a first step. It's really a doorway in of how we can use our physicality to greater or understand the whole of existence. Because I think we all realize in fairly short order that there's actually more going on than just the physical.
We perceive something greater. We perceive. There's some sort of a veil, there's some sort of a curtain. There's more going on here that we're just acting on a stage, but there's much more going on backstage. That's where we start to entertain and form some of these ideas around causation and meaning, why things happen to us and what it all might mean.
Of course, these realizations are personal. I think that's another thing we discover in pretty short order, that oftentimes when we solely look to the external, deliver us causation, deliver us meaning. That doesn't seem to be the whole story. That doesn't seem to be the whole truth. In fact, often that's just someone else's interpretation of either what's happened to them or what they've observed happening to other people.
But we're the ones with a full array of senses. We're the ones who have the ability to gain full awareness of ourselves, of our lives, of our existence. We're the ones with the ultimate ability to gain awareness, and thus, if it's truth and meaning, we seek. We are the ones with the ultimate ability to do the seeking.
Of course, we can look for cues and clues from other people. Of course, we can. Read books, we can go to lectures, we can listen to advice, we can gather information. Especially nowadays, a seemingly infinite amount of sources, new ones are popping up all the time, but ultimately, truth lies within. Ultimately, truth is personal.
Ultimately meaning is whatever we say it is. Cuz there is no such thing as ultimate meaning. Meaning is subjective and it's subjective on purpose because it's used to fit us. It's used as a way for us to understand our own lives, through own experience, through own perspective, through our own thinking, through our own beliefs, through own values, and that something like meaning is run through so many filters.
If we really get down to this idea of ultimate meaning, we really explore to the end. I think we would find that no two people would have the exact same meaning, but the same set of events. Ultimately, we arrive at meaning in any way that feels like a conclusion, as a personal process, as something that's been run through all of the subjective filters and layers.
That we have. Because even when we think we've arrived at something like Ultimate meaning, almost invariably, that changes. I think we can expect it to change, especially if we're still gathering information, especially for going out into the world open, really being aware, really taking in what seems to be happening if we're going into our lives.
Continuing to learn and grow. Continuing to live, to live fully. And ultimately those ideas of ultimate meaning will shift, will learn something new, will gain a different perspective. We'll be able to see things from a different light. And so ultimately this is a big part of the beauty and the power and the value of meaning.
That is not fixed. It is never final. It's always open to interpretation. There's always more to consider. There's always more to learn. There's always more to be able to experience. Thus meaning can grow and evolve and change and adapt right along with us cuz the value of meaning is found in the present moment.
This is why it could be so frustrating to try to arrive at some kind of final answer, to just be able to just get to some sort of ultimate truth and never have to think about it again. Never have to consider it again. But why are we in such a rush for finality? Cuz that's not how life works. Life is constantly growing and expanding.
Yet there's this funny thing the human animal seems to do. The human animal seems to want to make all of that stop seems to wanna make life locked down. Seems to wanna make life only exist within certain parameters, with certain boundaries. People to form a set of expectations and have those expectations reliably and consistently paid off.
But again, that's not how life actually works. And the more that we try to control life in this way. The more life will show us this. It's not too much fun to experience when life really shows us a dynamic and involving. It really can be in the moment, especially if we have a strong set of expectations, but over the long term, if we're open to it, this can be a tremendous gift because we can realize that life is far more fluid, far more dynamic, far more changing than we ever thought it could be.
And this can really buoy our spirit because if it wasn't this way, how on earth could we ever have hope? How on earth could we ever create any sort of change if everything was already fixed, if everything was already final, if everything was already known, we'd be much more like a robot Running out a program would be much more like.
Simply an actor on the stage with a demanding director that forces us to read the lines as written. No modifications, no changes. Ultimately, this would create an experience that would the very least get extremely repetitive and routine, but more than that, it would most likely get really grim. What we'd realize that.
If there's never really a possibility for change, if there's never really a possibility for the unexpected, there would never really be any hope. There'd never really be any room for a desire for change. Life would be so much smaller. Life would be confined to so many fewer possibilities, and ultimately, red downed the toil and drudgery.
Because of the sameness, because of the routine, and that's another big part of walking down this spiritual path, is really being honest, really being aware, really coming to the realization of what do we really want ultimately, because it can be so easy to think we want something, only to find out later that that's not actually what we really wanted.
Either we achieve what we want and it wasn't quite as great, quite as grand, quite as meaningful, quite as worthwhile. Once we get there, or we can find that through effort and toil and struggle of trying to make something happen, and having that fruition, having that completion, that manifestation elude us, come to the point of where we decide we didn't actually want that anyway.
We are pursuing something for reasons that perhaps we don't hold anymore, or perhaps we never did. These are someone else's ideas or these were ideas that we ourselves picked up thinking that they would make us be a certain way that would make us feel more complete, that would make us feel more whole.
That can make us feel more fulfilled. That would give us a sense of connection, a sense of comfort in our own life. And I think one of the most important things to realize, or one of the most important realizations to have is that in these ideas of control, there's a bit of a paradox in there. At the very least, there's a bit of a massive oversimplification and quite a bit of hubris in there, and that is the belief that we know what circumstances are right for us.
The belief that we know that if we can just create a certain set of circumstances, then our life will be a certain way that if such and such would happen, then our life would be improved for the better. That's a pretty big, if, that's a pretty big assumption to make, and this is usually where control enters.
We try to force a certain circumstance. Because if we think if I can just have that bigger house, if I could just have that different job, if I could just have that certain relationship, if I could just have that certain possession, I could just have that certain change in circumstance that I've had the life I want and I'd be able to live the experience that I want.
But often what we find instead, that's giving circumstance a little bit too much credit. At the very least, in my opinion, it's misunderstanding the role of circumstance in our life. Because as sensory beings, as perceiving beings, it can seem that circumstance is what is creating our life. That we have a certain job situation.
We have a certain relationship situation, we have a certain income situation, we have a certain possession situation, and that is creating the experience of our life, that it's the circumstances that are creating and maintaining our life experience. But if I can suggest another way to look at things, what if that's wrong?
What if that's backwards? What if the truth is, or what if an idea that's closer to the truth is that circumstance is not a cause. Circumstance is in effect. Circumstances is what happens last, not first circumstances. What is born at of a different set of causes at a different ideas of causality. And I think as we.
Venture and journey down this spiritual path. This is an idea that starts to become plain, that starts to make itself known that not only is there more going on in this life, but ideas around causation, around what makes things happen and why they happen might not actually be correct. And these incorrect ideas in practice might actually explain why life feels so confusing, why life feels so frustrating, why we tend to not actually get what we want, or if we do get what we think we want is not quite as satisfying.
And because we're misunderstanding the role of circumstance or misunderstanding the role in the value of what happens to us. At least from the perspective of what actually creates and sustains our life. Because at the very least, if we think about it this way, we can realize that even if we think one particular circumstance will deliver us the life experience we want, I think we all have to be honest that that same experience could be created by several different circumstances, maybe a myriad of circumstances.
But it's so much easier to lock into only one because again, it feels like we can focus. It feels like we can stop thinking about it. It feels like we can stop living in the confusion and the uncertainty of trying to create the life we want because we've already locked in to how we would do that. We've removed the doubt, we've removed the experimentation in a lot of ways.
We've removed the learning and the growing and the evolution from our own life. Out of a sense of control, out of a sense of trying to create a level of simplicity, at the very least, trying to boil down the creation of what we want to, a manageable and known set of steps that if we reduce the potential cause with a life that we want to live, then one particular circumstance, then we can understand that a lot better.
We can start building plans. We can imagine it a lot more clearly. In a lot of ways, it can feel closer to us because it's known in a lot of ways. It can make us feel better. It can soothe our doubt and uncertainty because it seems so clear. But when we lock ourselves into only one particular circumstance, that's us blocking the flow of life.
That's us resisting creation. That's us getting in our own way. And actually resisting and preventing the life that we want to live because we've created the idea, we've acted on the idea that what we want can only be experienced a certain way. As a simple example, let's say we want something, it's a possession of some sort, and we look around and realize that that possession costs a thousand dollars.
Then we look at our bank account and realize we don't have a thousand dollars and we certainly don't have a thousand dollars we can spend on anything like that right now. And then we think about, well, what sort of ways could I get a thousand dollars? Well, my income situation's pretty limited. I can't just go to my boss and say, I'd like another thousand dollars, please.
And we don't really seem to have time to do anything else, so this seems to be stuck. There's no way to get this thousand dollars. Is that actually true? If we pull back the lens a little bit, we'll realize we're only thinking about this one way. We're only thinking about how do I earn or bring in this amount of a thousand dollars through the way that I've always already done that.
How do I just extend what I've always done to be more. When in truth, there's all sorts of ways we've never even entertained, never tried. That might be possible to deliver this to us. For example, what if someone just gave us a thousand dollars out of the blue? This happens. This happens all the time.
That's not an obscene amount of money. What would happen if we walked into work tomorrow and found out we were getting a raise? That happens all the time. Well, if we found out about a different job, it just so happens to pay an extra thousand dollars, it actually seems to be a better fit for us. My point is that if we're open to it, if we can really look around, if we can really not lock ourselves in to a certain way of doing things, or believing that only a certain circumstance will deliver us what we want, we have way more options than we think we do.
And if we have it, Benevolent view of creation of the universe, then we can adopt the attitude that there are infinite ways that what we want can get to deliver to us. Maybe it doesn't have to involve money at all. Maybe someone could just give us the thing that we want. Maybe we could find someone we know already has this and they can just let us borrow it indefinitely.
No money has to change hands. No possession has to change hands, but we get to experience what we want, what the point is. Is that all of these ideas would amount to different circumstances, and so it's not so much the circumstance that matters, it's the outcome that matters. Ultimately, all we want is what we want.
We have a desire that springs up with us and we want that desire to be fulfilled. We want that desire. To be manifest. We want that desire to be made manifest in our life because this is something that we want to experience. But if we misunderstand the role of circumstance, if we misunderstand and think that circumstance is the cause of what we want, and we miss the lesson, we miss the awareness that no circumstances linked with desire, circumstances, the effect of desire.
Of wanting, of having something missing, of having a bit of a vacuum inside of us, of feeling that pull, feeling that sensation of something that we want, and allowing the right circumstance to come to us because it's not all about force. It's not all about doing. It's not all about making things happen.
Just as much of life is based on allowing things to happen, doing and not doing action, and allowing. Both are equals. Both are equally valid, and we can draw upon either whenever we wish, because through these types of awarenesses, we can gain and experience a completely different understanding. We can really look at the role of circumstance in our life.
We can really come to the point where we identify and understand and appreciate circumstance as an effect more than circumstances, as a cause. We can realize that whatever we want, there are a myriad ways, whatever we want to come to us, that whenever we believe there's only one option, there's only one way.
There's only one possibility. We've not only limited ourselves, but we've closed down our awareness in all the other ways that whatever we want could come to us. We've circumvented the ability of life to deliver what we want because we ourselves are resisting it. We're resisting it through conditioning that want, by saying it can only come to us a certain way.
But if that way isn't actually right for us, if that way isn't actually a fit for us, then that expression is blocked. That way is not clear in a lot of ways. By choosing this attitude, we choose stagnation and frustration because we ourselves are not open to life. We ourselves are resisting life. We ourselves are saying, Things can only happen a certain way to satisfy my own expectations, to satisfy my own needs, to have things happen only in the way that I want and expect.
But that's not how life works. That isn't cooperative, that's missing that allowing peace, that's missing the openness within us for life and creation to flow into. But of course we get to choose. We get to choose our attitudes and our beliefs. We get to choose our own understandings. We get to choose our own meanings.
In a lot of ways, we get to choose our own truth, but the more awareness we bring, the more openness we bring, the more honesty and courage that we bring, the more likely that those truths. Will not only be real, will not only be useful, will not only be meaningful, but will actually lead us deeper, more useful, more meaningful, more helpful beliefs beyond them.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. All episodes are given freely. If you feel inspired to give, please visit the union path.com/donate. If you have a question, you can contact me at the union path gmail.com. Take care and all the best.