Inevitability

Xuefeng

Each of us is like a rough stone. Only through cutting and polishing can we form useful gemstones of certain geometric shapes. Cultivation and practice are akin to this cutting and polishing process.

To cultivate and practice, one must first understand oneself. Only with a comprehensive understanding of oneself can one know how to cultivate and practice. To enter the Kingdom of Freedom, one must first understand the Kingdom of Inevitability. So, what is inevitability?

Inevitability

The world is vast, with myriad phenomena, dazzling and complex, unpredictable, bewildering, and seemingly endless. From the movement of celestial bodies, the ever-changing weather, the chirping of insects and the singing of birds, the growth of grass and the blooming of flowers, to the vicissitudes of life, the rise and fall of nations, the prosperity and decline of human affairs, and the afflictions of illness and disaster, everything appears to be random and impermanent, yet it is all governed by an underlying order of inevitability.

Inevitability is the order of the universe, and the order of the universe is inevitability.

The vast stars, each inevitably moving within their respective star systems and clusters, following predetermined orbits with certain directions and speeds. Some, upon reaching a certain point in space and time, are inevitably pulled off course by other gravitational forces, becoming meteorites, burning across the vast sky, adorning the firmament.

The rise of winds and waves, the ebb and flow of tides, the ascent of clouds and descent of rains, the drifting of snow and the shrouding of mist, the rumble of thunder and the flash of lightning, the roar of tsunamis, the rampage of typhoons, the eruption of volcanoes, the splitting of earthquakes, the flooding of rivers, the engulfing of sandstorms, the disappearance of birds, the appearance of dawn and dusk, the manifestation of rainbows, the occurrence of solar and lunar eclipses, the changing of seasons鈥攁ll are inevitable consequences of the Earth鈥檚 movement, the sun鈥檚 heat, the moon鈥檚 gravity, and human activity.

The migration of migratory birds, the hibernation of frogs and snakes, the morning song of the larks, the crowing of roosters at dawn, the proliferation of insects, the propagation of bacteria, the sowing in spring and the developing in summer, the harvesting in autumn and the storage in winter, the winding of vines, the fragrance of osmanthus trees, the blooming and withering of flowers, the sunflower鈥檚 orientation toward the sun鈥攅verything is an inevitable result of the passage of time.

The drifting of continents, the fissuring of the earth鈥檚 crust, the melting of snow-capped mountains, the disappearance of small islands, the redirection of rivers, the landslides of mountains, the heightening of peaks, the weathering of rocks, the crisscrossing of gullies, the shifting of sand dunes, the emergence of springs from rock crevices, the cascading of waterfalls, the transportation of sand by rivers, the formation of deltas鈥攅verything is an inevitable consequence of the Earth鈥檚 movements.

The disappearance of early empires like Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Third Reich, and colonies gradually fading away, the emergence of the United Nations, the budding of the European Community, the global circulation of the US dollar, the global spread of English, are not man-made but rather inevitable outcomes of historical development.

Caesar and Alexander have departed, Qin Shihuang and Genghis Khan are gone, Napoleon and Hitler are no more, Stalin, Roosevelt, Mao Zedong, and other great figures of their time have also disappeared. 鈥淎 thousand sails pass by the wrecked boat; ten thousand trees spring up in front of the sick tree.鈥 This is the inevitable progression of society.

The disappearance of those riding donkeys to visit their parents鈥 home, the emergence of automobiles; the end of transporting goods with hand-pulled carts, replaced by trucks; the retreat of bows and spears, the dominance of machine guns and missiles; the limited vision of reconnaissance soldiers, replaced by spy satellites in space; the slowness of abacus beads, the emergence of computers; the exponential expansion of information and knowledge, the ubiquity of CDs and computer networks; the inefficiency of manual labor, taken over by a plethora of modern machines; the large margin of error in manual operation, the advent of robots鈥攖hese are inevitable consequences of human survival competition.

The offspring of close relatives often suffer from mental disabilities, promiscuity leads to sexually transmitted diseases, excessive drinking and eating cause digestive discomfort, irregular living leads to physical weakness and fatigue, indulgence in excessive drinking and eating leads to various diseases, nonsense talk brings misfortune close at hand, confused thoughts lead to headaches and mental fatigue, disasters strike unexpectedly when taboos are ignored, pent-up emotions lead to cancer, twisted thoughts lead to heart disease鈥 The type of seed sown determines the type of sprout; the kind of flower blossom determines the kind of fruit. The human body is like a complex computer鈥攚hatever content is inputted will result in corresponding feedback. This is the inevitable program.

"Ten months of pregnancy, one day of delivery; youth arrives, menstruation flows; childbirth, continuous breastfeeding; men grow beards, women develop clitorises; menopause arrives, menstruation ceases; aging, decline of the body, wrinkled skin鈥 from embryo to infant, from youth to adulthood, from middle age to old age, all are inevitable physiological developments.

Wolves do not eat grass, sheep do not eat meat, bats come out at night, owls sleep during the day, cats catch mice, dogs guard yards, cows plow fields, horses are harnessed, elephants give birth to one, pigs give birth to litters, birds and snakes lay eggs, frogs and fish spawn, trees do not bear melons, seedlings struggle to bear fruit鈥 this is the inevitability of the ecological balance of nature.

The moon wanes inevitably after it waxes full, when it wanes it inevitably waxes full again, when things flourish they inevitably decline, when people become strong they inevitably perish, when there is too much water it inevitably floods, when fire rages it inevitably burns, apples inevitably fall to the ground, melons inevitably shed their stems when ripe, those without roots inevitably decay, bodies inevitably die, the ignorant inevitably become restless, the foolish inevitably make noise, the wise inevitably become saints, the spiritually advanced inevitably become virtuous, those who attain the Dao inevitably become deity, those who transcend the mundane inevitably become celestial beings鈥 everything is inevitable.

Dragons give birth to dragons, phoenixes give birth to phoenixes, the offspring of rats will dig holes. All beings have no choice in their origins.

All phenomena in nature are inevitable. So, can humans escape the shackles of inevitability?

Let鈥檚 first look at the many inevitabilities in life:

  1. The Birth of Self

  2. Date and Time of Birth, Family and Social Environment at Birth

  3. Gender, Height, Appearance, Innate Abilities, and Ethnicity

  4. Congenital Diseases

  5. Spouses, Colleagues, Friends

  6. Aging, Lifespan, Date And Method Of Death

  7. Dreaming

  8. The Gender And Number Of One鈥檚 Own Children

  9. Occupation

  10. Murder and Imprisonment

  11. Wealth, Fame, and Status

  12. Turning Points and Encounters in Life

  13. Peach Blossom Luck

  14. Eating, Drinking, Excreting, Sleeping

  15. Enjoying Blessings, Suffering Hardships, Enduring Suffering

  16. What Path to Take, What Kind of Person to Become

  17. Prosperity And Adversity

  18. Destination After Death.

These 18 aspects are all inevitabilities that individuals cannot control. Let us analyze them one by one."

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