When you were at school your teachers, unknowingly, did you a disservice by only revealing half the truth about the world. The consequences of imperfect knowledge are truly devastating, as you will learn.
Welcome to a different type of lesson. An orthodox school curriculum assumes that the world is explainable. To be understandable, the world has to be comprised of chains of causes and effects. You know the kind of thing: this causes that, that causes the other, the other causes something else and something else causes the final outcome. If we have infinitely accurate information about each stage in the chain we can predict an outcome – and this outcome is really a jumping off point for further stages in the chain. Tracing chains of causes and effects increases our sense of security and makes the world appear predictable and understandable.
Foreseeable chains of causes and effects are not the only way things happen in this world. There are also LIVING TRENDS. Living trends differ from chains of causes and effects in that they are inherently surprising – that is to say, they have outcomes that can only be experienced as surprises. It is very difficult to become an expert on such will-o-the-wisp phenomena. Therefore, the knowledge of living trends is not on the school curriculum. In fact there tends to be no interest in them or even an emotional denial that they exist at all. But they do exist and we are all in the grip of them.
So what is a living trend? It is a pattern of development that spontaneously emerges, apparently without a cause, from the natural world. There is a rapid inflationary phase, a plateau phase of unpredictable length and a sudden surprising reversal of the trend. Participating in a living trend gives a feeling of being in a comfortable routine leading to a secure outcome. However, all the time you are heading for an unpleasant surprise. Let’s have an example. Consider investors in the stock market. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, confidence appears. This is reflected in rising prices. There is a rapid inflationary phase wherein stock prices rise to unrealistic levels. Then the acceleration of confidence tails off and remains at a given high level, as the plateau phase is entered. An unpredictable moment arrives when all confidence drains away, prices plunge and there is a big shakeout of the market.
The thing that makes people available to living trends is ‘IMPERFECT KNOWLEDGE’. All of the investors have only a partial understanding of the economic realities behind the share prices. Their individual notions of what is true increase the sum total of chaos and disorganization within the overall scenario and it is out of the principle of chaos that living trends make their impromptu emergence. We are told that ‘the Truth will set us free’. What is meant is that the Truth will set us free from participation in living trends. This is why successful market speculators and entrepreneurs often come from the ranks of those who performed rather badly at school. They know they don’t know anything and that insight makes them more likely to intuit the truth of beguiling living trends in the market.
Another classic example of a living trend is one that is described in the New Testament Gospels and which gripped the life of Jesus. He, unlike the ordinary person, appeared to be fully aware of the 'power' in which he was caught up and did nothing to save himself from the negative surprise to come.
To possess a mind programmed with half the truth makes you available to living trends without your being aware of it. Your days at school furnished you with imperfect knowledge of how the world of everyday life functions and you naturally became a sitting duck for passing living trends. These living trends are ‘powers’, ‘forces’ or vortexes of disembodied ‘intent’. Science knows nothing of them and yet they most definitely operate a blind conspiracy against the whole human race, causing individuals and nations to fall from grace.
Living trends are just waiting for us to stray across inner thresholds within ourselves. A threshold is crossed when we stray: from ‘preference’ into ‘desire’; from ‘love’ into ‘lust’; from ‘caution’ into ‘fear’; from ‘courage’ into ‘recklessness’; from ‘gentleness’ into ‘weakness’; from ‘freedom’ into ‘anarchy’; from ‘thrift’ into ‘greed’; from ‘respect’ into ‘servility’; from ‘ambition’ into ‘ruthlessness’; from ‘friendship’ into ‘infatuation’; from ‘confidence’ into ‘ego mania’ etc. We don’t choose to cross these invisible lines. Instead, we have diminished responsibility because we do not understand the threat posed by living trends. There are limits to all development and as soon as we cross a given threshold we expose ourselves to being drafted by a living trend into a madcap excursion whose destination is a negative surprise. Individuals, nations and species have been driven to extinction because they did not understand this one thing.
There is however a single hope and that is the putting into practice of an unwritten law that hides behind the visible appearance of the world. That law says 'Tap the world lightly’. It is a hidden law that I personally would like to write across the sky in great big letters: ‘DO NOT GO BEYOND WHAT IS JUST ENOUGH’. Here endeth the lesson.
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