Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Contract

The Contract

One take on the substantive quality of individuals is to divide them into two broad camps. On one hand are “deep” ones who ask existential questions such as, “Who am I and why am I here?” On the other hand are “shallow” ones so preoccupied with their little lives that such inquiry never even occurs to them.

But in a sense, both of these camps are on the same side of the fence, letting circumstance dictate their perception of self. The deep ones assume a “contract” exists somewhere in God’s mind that has on it all the information about who they are, why they are here, and what they are to do in this earthly incarnation.

They are on a quest to discover this information so their “real” lives can begin. Sometime, if they are persistent, God will reveal all this, and until then they are treading water. The shallow ones, if they ever think about it, come to a similar conclusion - namely, that life is basically out of their control.

In such cases it is a sure bet the contract will never found. This sobering fact is evident in the depressed multitudes who, finding themselves in a world of discord, disharmony and evil, abandon themselves to despair and hopelessness.

The place they are in, with its apparent anarchy and incoherence, defines the parameters of the quest. And so the questions remain, and they remain unanswered.

The problem with this picture is the expectation that someone or something else will fill in the blanks; that some supreme intelligence will dictate who we are, what we are to do, and what it is all about. Why is this a problem? Because all that has already occurred and we did it.

We have authority to negotiate our lives, to make choices and to experience the consequences of them. The contracts that bind are the ones we negotiate and execute. If we are waiting to find out who we are, we will always be waiting. Thus it is written – by us.

We also have the power to rescind or rewrite such contracts at any time. The existential questions can be replaced them with statements of intent.

This procedure formulates an authentic agreement with God, with the universe, as to the purpose of our presence here: that we exist to be conscious, to learn truth, and to grow in wisdom.

Why is this necessary and beneficial? So we don’t operate under the notion that life is happening TO us without our consent or comprehension. So we can stop imagining ourselves victims or victors in a scene mostly beyond our control.

So we can start appreciating and giving back the amazing depth and beauty of life.


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  2. Thanks for this post. In my own attempts to distill an understanding of truth from many different teachings that resonate with me, I have come to see things much the way you have but there are some views of mine that leave an impression of differing from yours as well, and this bothers me a little because your conclusion makes me smile. By no means am I writing in your blog to tell you that my view is better or that you are wrong, but only to stimulate the kinds of questions that can be beneficial to us both. I love the metaphor of the contract! It's a powerful one and I will attempt to explain myself in this way.
    I cannot agree more; so much of my existence is dominated by the belief in rules, that if followed, will bring about the rewards of "real" existence. Those rules that I accept as true in my life, hold a power I cannot fathom. Those rules I accept as real become binding. Here is what I see as being the problem. Those rules I accept as true in my life are self-contradictory and ever-changing and do not match reality. I see this as the source of my discontent; the source of the friction that produces heat, pain and suffering.
    My life seems to be an unending attempt to match effect (reality) with cause (rules). I can't say that this hasn't had a role to play in my growth, but every time I rewrite the contract to match reality, it doesn't take long before the breach of contract with reality becomes apparent. The temporary happiness a new contract affords me is quickly replace by a discomfort that is hard to bare. The futility of this is becoming more apparent to me with every passing day.

    I am having a hard time digesting the statement:

    "The problem with this picture is the expectation that someone or something else will fill in the blanks; that some supreme intelligence will dictate who we are, what we are to do, and what it is all about."

    Is this the problem? It seems to encapsulate one of the highest ideals of truth. I say "ideal of truth" because I have not integrated it, nonetheless it remains one of the central themes of most of the teachings that speak to me at a gut level. That is, the notion of one will, one being: lack of separation. Maybe I am misunderstanding.
    Also, I do not see the existential questions as being a problem either. Questions like "what am I?" and the inquiry it entails I find to be extremely powerful tools. My understanding of the problem with existential questions, and how these become a trap, is not in the question, but in the unwillingness to receive the answer. An answer cannot be received of it violates the terms of my contract because I am unwilling to see it. My feeling body tells me I have made a mistake, but I don't listen to that either. In this framework, being the author of our own contract blinds us to the truth of our existence.
    The role of intent is a far more subtle question for me and one which has long bothered me as being contradictory to existential questions. In other words, how can I author my own reality, but at the same time surrender to reality? Teachers like Gangajii and Tolle seem to emphasize the surrender aspect and say less about intent. Clearly, however, intent has an important role to play in our lives. Again, I speculate, but the belief in a contract is binding to me and prevents me from receiving the answer. Functioning in this predicament, in this imperfect understanding of myself, intent becomes the tool that allows a willingness to be shown the truth to enter my life. In other words, to open up to my guide or higher-self or holy spirit.. whatever you prefer to call it. It is important for me to note that the outcome of intent is always given to me and not created by me. In effect, this allows the contract to be unwritten, not by me, but by the universe. When alignment with my real self is complete, intent will no longer needed.

    Ok, I'll stop here. This turned out to be a lot longer than I thought. I hope I haven't anal-eyesed this to death but it was very useful to me personally, so thanks for all this insight and be well.


  3. It resonates Marc, Write on, and appreciated.
    Have been asking about 'navigating' and wide open recieving as well.