All Things Given to us for a Purpose

All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. – Jorge Luis Borges

There is nothing extraneous in nature. All things occur as they should. Previously I wrote about a Taoist (Daoist) concept known as Ziran, which literally translates as “self-so”. It refers to a natural spontaneity – unplanned. Whether wandering along the drifting sands, strolling through a park, do so without forcing the action. It is impossible to relax when one overthinks the moment. Nature is in a constant flow-state. When one tries to impose structure, apply subjectivity, seethe with stress – there can be no calm, no spontaneity. There is only pretense.

There are so many methods and techniques for meditation, for relaxation, stress relief, mindfulness, self-realization, spiritual enlightenment… But they all eventually pass through an interlude of nothingness. The seeker finds breathing space within this void between aspiration and transformation. That interval of suspended thought is the sacred nature of the Universe. Illuminated by divine light, the vessel of the soul can be restored, and the spirit made whole.

All art, all life, springs from the unknown into the known. A famous Zen koan asks, what was your original face before you were born? There is no answer to such a question, but the question itself is intended to be a catalyst for not seeking answers but instead to release the questioning, to void the doubt and simply go with the flow. This does not mean to surrender, but simply let go of the struggle. Do not try to force meaning where there is no need for meaning. Appreciate without intention or attention.

Take this intermission between what was and what will be as raw material for refortifying your spirit. Shape the art of your life to suit your innermost world. Time has come for affirmative positive change. Shine with a positive light. Peace.

April 20 is the 50th Earth Day. If you are looking for something to do, check out:


Published by everythingisbeachy

Read my books at: Wheeler was a monthly magazine and weekly newspaper editor during the time he lived in China from 2007-2019. In China he worked for: Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry and Propaganda Ministry. In addition to his magazine and newspaper work, Wheeler edited and contributed to: multiple travel guides; numerous textbooks; several research and translation projects; and advertising copy for countless clients. As a university lecturer, Wheeler developed several university courses including Appreciation of Western Poetry and Introduction to Journalism. He taught Writing, Literature, Culture, Film, and other subjects. His success as a foreign teacher and editor led to Wheeler being awarded Teacher of the Year honors several times at two major universities. In addition to writing, Wheeler was an actor in China. He was on a television show; and the voice for Hangzhou Tourism as well as acting on stage. Wheeler's most unusual role was being the spokesman for a wallpaper adhesive company.

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