To pick up where we last trailed off… the only way to live “ethically” is to not care about ethics. Any attempt to use thought to derive, or worse formalize, and codify a system of ethics will lead to a known system which the ego can manage and find it’s way around.
You won’t spend very long with these things unless you’re willing to be terrified. Far from what sells and memes well, feel good messages about spirit and the power of belief, you will have to reduce yourself to that blackest substance. Don’t love who you are, hate that you are. Now I could say quite the opposite and mean the exact same thing, that is the most difficult part. Everything is a tautology, everything is everything.
In the most brutal language I might say mankind has two great illnesses: egoism and its terminal form altruism; the egoist can be treated, but what I can offer the altruist save a quick death.
An anecdote often recounted by Laura Huxley (Aldous Huxley’s widow of Brave New World fame) of a conversation she once had with Jiddu Krishnamurti; who she refers to most reverently as Krishna-ji.
Laura had released a book You Are Not the Target, a small text on methods and formulas for self-betterment—in what we would now call the self-help genre. Krishna-ji was very sore with her for having adapted his teachings and others into methods, as he was dead set against method, thesis, process, and conclusion. As she reports it, he gave a thorough talking to before glaring at her saying: “All these people who go around helping other people, I think they are a curse.” Laura was disoriented, but upon recovering asked “Well what do you think you’re doing?” Jiddu matter-of-factly said “Oh, but I don’t do it on purpose.”
A contrasting story that contains an identical message.
A monk was once given news that his mother had passed away, he fell to his knees and began to weep. Another monk was nearby and shamed him for weeping out of attachment to the world. The weeping monk looked up through tearful eyes and said “Don’t be a fool! I’m weeping because I want to.”
At either end of apparent intentionality we find a figure attached to an image, to a system, to a code, to a self. In either case, action is not intended, brought about by motive and consequence, it is simply done.
Featured Image: The Seventh Seal; Ingmar Bergman