Being and Becoming I
by Scott Bradley
by Scott Bradley
"Nature's way is to be genuine. Man's way is to become genuine."
— Confucius (Genuine Living (Chung Yung); The Heart of Confucius; Archie Bahm)
Nature is what it is. Human beings must become what they are. This apparent paradox runs through the entire gamut of non-theistic traditions (where Oneness is understood as fundamental). Ultimately, not-one is also One. How ever a human being may deviate from Reality, that reality remains Reality. This perspective 'resolves' the paradox in one sense, but there remains the task of closing the gap, of becoming what we are. Yet this task is best undertaken in the realization of this already-one-ness.
Ultimate "genuineness" is being what we are, just as Nature is what it is. But it is also existentially expressed in other than an 'ultimate' sense. It is manifest in admitting that we are not what we are—that is, in honesty regarding the gap between what we know ourselves to fundamentally be and how we actually behave. Genuineness is a quality that leads us on the journey through our not-oneness toward oneness, not an absolute with which we flagellate ourselves.
Confucius declared genuineness a most fundamental attribute of the entire 'spiritual' enterprise: "What is most genuine pervades everything...By being all-inclusive, it is without limit....Such is the nature of genuineness. Even though it is invisible it produces [all] changes....The nature (tao) of Nature may be summed up in one word: 'genuineness'. It is free from duplicity. How it does what it does is a mystery."
There is no place in our journey where genuineness cannot be expressed. There is no failing too great that the power of honesty cannot prevail. Only self-deceit and egoic pride can prevent it from exercising its transformative power.
The paradox of being and becoming cannot be resolved, but genuineness pervades them both. Honesty will always and ever lead us on, should we wish to allow it to do so.
You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.