Personal Development: In the latest of his series of contemplations, Axel Trinh-Cong considers the Laws of Nature and our journey through life.
Personal accomplishment, awakening, self-actualization and the path to discovering life’s mysteries are all dynamic and ever-changing things that cannot be attained through words alone, however accurate they may be. At a certain point, one must face the experience of standing alone, before the Absolute.
Every being, story and destiny is unique – in this way we are all divided. But every being, story and destiny operates under the same Laws of Nature – in this way everything is connected.
Although these Laws frame our lives by giving them meaning, purpose and even challenges, it is a matter of dignity for any living being – one might even say it is the biggest challenge of our existence – to be able to bring these rules to life, each in our own unique way. In a sense, they can be compared to a music score: some might play it baroque, others classical, jazzy, or even rock ‘n roll, because from a metaphysical point of view every player is unique.
And so, the Universe offers us matter, or, in other words, the framework within which it is up to each of us to provide our interpretation of the music. It is only through our active and conscious contribution that the Universe ceases to be a rigid, detached and even tyrannical entity, and becomes a living thing within us all.
This is where the concept of doctrines can be problematic. I will define a doctrine
– or method – as the personal interpretation of one Being, in a certain place and at a certain point in time. Therefore, to follow a doctrine means to apply someone else’s model to oneself. In a way, it is as if we were attempting to fit into someone else’s clothes. This can be useful and even life-saving – for a while.
For those who wish to go further, the journey must be continued in one’s own internal silence, where we may find our own path, our personal sound. Two things must be distinguished: on the one hand, all the beliefs, representations, metaphors and concepts that aid us in our journey towards the absolute; on the other hand, the absolute itself and its laws.
This distinction is crucial, because we must avoid giving too much importance to that which is only meant as an expression of a much higher principle. To fail to do so is what we call idolatry, and it is, sadly, very common. Different representations, metaphors, concepts, methods and approaches can be useful in our quest to put into form that which escapes form itself. But they are the means, not the end.
At a certain point, it is necessary to overcome the need for representation and enter into the realm of experience. For some, this may be reminiscent of Plato’s allegory
of the cave, which describes the concrete experience of the Absolute. By necessity, this experience is beyond words and concepts.
But perhaps, more importantly, it can only be personal and intimate – however frightening it may be to find oneself alone before the Absolute, without master, companion or therapist to hold our hand.
In conclusion, let us reiterate that the path we are searching for lies not in the finger pointing the way, but in the way itself – silent and internal. This is why, as a therapist, companion and facilitator, I firmly believe that past a certain point, the individual must continue their journey alone. That is where the limit lies of what I can possibly have to offer another soul, and I can but accept it.