Life is messy; that’s the honest truth. The specifics of life – the expressions of the ‘multiplex’ – can be seemingly contradictory, at odds with one another. Discord arises just as often as harmony, and vanishes just as quickly, without warning.
What use is it to identify with any single arising? If I identify with one arising, I may find myself in opposition to another. In the end, all arisings fizzle into extinction, and the identification process moves and latches on to the next arising that suits its fancy. If that isn’t a great description of samsara, I don’t know what is. Talk about frustrating.
The specifics of life never get less messy. Awakening does not bring one’s life to some grand harmonious conclusion. The multiplex will continue to express itself as it always has. What changes as one begins to awaken is that instead of identifying with arisings in the multiplex, one recognizes the natural expanse of emptiness – of being – which is vast enough to hold all of the complexities of life and honor the whole catastrophe for what it is; just as it is.
And from here, there’s no reason to think that thoughtful action must cease. Quite the contrary! For, even if one may not feel compelled by craving to act, their remains the capacity to act of one’s own initiative. If we are free to help, why not? The more ‘I’ step out of the way, the more this spontaneous expression responds without being blocked. In truth, deciding not to act based on some philosophical view is just another view. And such a view may rightly be seen as one of the last blockages to be removed. In letting go of views, in freeing ourselves from our limited philosophical outlooks, we are liberated into our unique personal expressions which may attend to the health and well being of others. In so doing, even thoughts and concepts are set free and may be used, without block, in attempt to help and not to harm.
I’m not saying that awakening brings someone to a condition of moral perfection. Nobody’s perfect. Not even the awakened. Rather, it is my opinion that awakening – and thus, committing to the practice of meditation – may result in the development of an optimal platform for being a happy and helpful human being. This is why practicing meditation throughout one’s life is so important, so beneficial.