“What would Leonard Cohen do?” there’s a bracelet we should all be carrying, huh? A line we should be asking ourselves at every turn. What would Field Commander Cohen do? We don’t know, but it would probably involve some soul searching. That is the conclusion we should arrive at, since it is probably holds more merit than any other answer that could be provided. Searching one’s soul means actually thinking about the situation, and more than that – it means accepting responsibility. And that, ladies and gents, is where an individual’s greatness comes from. It is from the voluntary adoption of a burden. A responsibility. A personal one, at first, and then – time and space permitting – other responsibilities. But more of than not, we should do what Cohen did. He searched his soul. He searched in wisdoms, too, yes. But he took them into account while searching with his soul. And this is what makes the difference between that answer, and pretty much any cookie cutter answer.
There is a lesson in the Tao Te Ching: if the tao can be spoken, it is not the tao. In other words, there are certain truths that no human mouth can articulate. Some can be, and should be taught. Others are like “trying to solve an algebra problem by chewing bubblegum”, as a writer once said. It makes no sense, and it has no way of meaning anything other than to oneself. That is to say, there is a good chance that there is someone who will be able to prove an entirely complicated the rum to oneself by chewing bubblegum. Yes. But to all others, it would appear as though this person is only blowing bubbles.
The truth, the enlightenment, is a hoax. It is a trap. It does not exist beyond you. Not really. The problem is that some people don’t take the time to actually examine themselves. Many people – myself included – are not prone to that, for a variety of reasons. We all have the stories we tell ourselves about why we are not being the people we can or should be. About what we are not acting in ways which we find acceptable, even by our very own definitions. Human beings are complicated. We abdicated the physical superiority and strength reserved for primates, for that of the mind and of the spirit. But, blindly, all we seek to attain that physical, material strength. We are unaware, perhaps, of why we gave it up in the first place. But we need to find out why, again.