As this blog has lots of concepts batted around, I though this quote from Ram Das would be a good reminder.
Most concepts tell only one-half of a Yin-Yang totality. For example, let’s take the concept, “God is omniscient and therefore must have seen everything in the first moment of the creation. Therefore everything is predestined, and there is no free will.” That concept we can call a Yin. It’s just a concept, so it’s not ultimately true, but it might be useful at a given moment or stage of life for someone. The balancing Yang might be, “We have free will and must use it wisely, because it is our own actions which determine our future.” Again, just a concept, but maybe useful in a given moment. The two might appear contradictory, but are actually complementary aspects of a huge truth, the Shiva & Shakti of the big picture, if you will. If you join the two concepts together, you might get a third concept which combines and transcends the first two. In this case, it might be, “The true Self is infinite formless Spirit, already and forever free, which is not involved in the realm of action, and therefore neither free will nor destiny have any meaning for what we really are.”
Sounds nice, but it’s important to remember that that too is only a concept, and if we think the concept is true, we create bondage for ourselves. The ego loves to have the answers. We love to think we know who we are, and what life is and what God is, and we’ll cling to a fundamentalist belief (even a fundamentalist Advaita belief) because we think it gives us security. With each “I know” brick we put in place, we think we are building a wall that will give us safety, but it isn’t long before we realize we’ve built our own prison cell and forgot to make a door. The mortar is always only our belief in the “I”, in the false personal identity that thinks it knows something.
This is not to say the ego is bad or that concepts are bad. Those are just more concepts. (laughs) In fact, our entire world could be said to be a concept, a means of Self to experience itself. The issue is only in believing or holding too closely to them.
Is it fun? There’s a good sign. 😉
PS – you may also wish to explore the 5 Agreements