Right Regrets

Written By: Charles - Aug• 27•08

62  bar rises 29.84  0mpn NEE dew-point 61  sunrise 6:29  sunset 29.84  Lughnasa

Waning Crescent of the Corn Moon

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.” – Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller.  Once married to Marilyn Monroe.  A right regret?  Who knows.

His point seems apt.  Until scientists convince us we do not have free will (another time), all we have in life are the choices we make.  Since the world and its manifold dynamics function chaotically (thought not without a kind of order), making choices that reflect our true values and our authentic Selves are the best we can do.  Results have so much to do with accidents of birth, i.e. man, woman, white, black, Latino, Asian, African, poor parents, middle class parents, rich parents, country of origin:  USA, Namibia, Brazil, Bangladesh, France, Georgia, era: middle ages, reformation, 19th century, 23rd century, not to mention genetic endowments and psychological environment, the crucial forks in the road for each individual life.

This reality gives Taoism a special resonance for me.  Conforming ourselves to the movement of heaven means recognizing all these various factors as they come to a point in an individual life, our life.  Attunement rather than atonement.  We scan the heavens, using the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching, our minds and discern where to adapt and where to use the times as leverage for our choices.  Even a perfectly attuned Taoist, a sage, may have no result in their life if the times and the heavens have no room for their ambitions.


Thus, we can only choose.  Our choices, not the results, define our regrets.  If we choose paths consistent with our values and our authentic Selves, then we will have only the right regrets.   Why?  Because we will have not betrayed who we are and we  will not have betrayed those values we clasp to our hearts.  The results come from the movement of the heavens as  our choices either align with them or bump into their hard reality.

It may be that I have added one step too many.  If we align ourselves with the Tao, the movement of heaven, then our values may be of no importance.  If a value serves to set one in conflict with the movement of heaven, then, if I understand the Tao, it can force one out of alignment with the Tao.  This can violates conforming ourselve to the movement of heaven.

This is what I mean when I say life does not need meaning, it is meaning; life does not need purpose, it is purpose.

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