The controversy about the fate of humanity is central and inherent in our cultural life. An apprehensive watchfulness hangs in the air. This is a sign of the times. There is no end to the facts and statistics cited as evidence in support of the opinions about where we are heading. Optimism and pessimism, enthusiasm and alarm, all shades, all degrees. There are penetrating insights, and illuminating interpretations of institutions, behavior and events. Persuasive arguments and diagnosis, an abundant bibliography, and a sleepless irony that misses nothing. We watch ourselves closely.
We must now be trained to do something we formerly assumed everyone would do simply by virtue of being human, being at one with an immemorial 'internal tradition': not identically, not correctly, but in one of the countless variations and moments, the 'give and take', whose dynamic interplay told the story and composed the spontaneous equilibrium of the commonweal, unplanned, unpremeditated, and 'unintentional'--just as the interaction of innumerable entities, elements and events composes the immense harmony, the perfection, of Nature: individually and collectively neither 'right' nor 'wrong', neither for better nor for worse, neither happy nor unhappy, neither 'correct' nor 'incorrect', neither 'progressive' nor 'reactionary', neither structured nor unstructured, neither wise nor foolish, but 'as it is', 'as things go', the Will of God, the fall of the dice, karma, Fate, the wheel of fortune, the Way. The Way that is beyond and prior to our judgments or discriminations or partisanships, the Way, the ancient Tao we once were, once saw, once recognized, once adored, as our own, our Self.