Today we ask you to sit with the idea that there are no mistakes in reality.
There are no mistakes in reality.
There are no mistakes. There are no errors.
What does this mean?
It means that nothing that has ever happened, is happening now, or will happen in the future — nothing is a mistake. Nothing is an error. Nothing “should not be.”
There is nothing harder for a human to fully accept than this idea. And yet when it is accepted, it means the end of almost all mental suffering that humans experience.
So let’s just look at it.
There are no mistakes, errors, or accidents in reality. Nothing happens that was not meant to happen. There is nothing that has ever existed, that exists now, or that will exist in the future that should not be.
The human mind cries out against this. Reality, to most humans, is an endless parade of mistakes and errors. There are countless things that never should have happened. There are countless things that should not be happening right now. And one can only sit in hopeless dread of all the terrible mistakes that will happen in the future.
This kind of thinking is the cause of the vast majority of mental suffering that humans experience.
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes! This went wrong, and that went wrong. All the mistakes your parents made, all the mistakes other people made, all the mistakes you made. All the mistakes God made. Most people carry around long lists of mistakes, and read these lists over and over in their minds like a liturgy.
And in so doing they fall into misery and despair.
For how can you ever be happy, with all of these mistakes in reality? Even if you are doing okay in life — one mistake, and it’s all over!
So you must forever be on guard against making mistakes, constantly vigilant. And even then — through no fault of your own, some terrible error may occur. The car accident, the natural disaster, the economic collapse, the terminal illness. Make no mistake: sooner or later you will be the victim of some awful mistake, if you haven’t been already.
For some people, life is just one mistake after another.
This is not to minimize the serious traumatic events that befall people. There is war, violence, oppression, grief, and terrible loss. And it is hard — almost impossible — to believe that such things are not mistakes and errors.
It is best, when sitting with this idea, not to focus on extreme cases of human brutality and loss.
Rather it is more useful to focus on more mundane mistakes. All the little things that happen to you that seem wrong, that provoke outrage and a sense of injustice.
When children are young, so many things seem like mistakes. Not getting the treat, not getting to watch the movie, having to go to bed by a particular time, eating the vegetables, cleaning up your mess — all these things, to a child, are mistakes. They are worthy of outrage and tantrums.
As children get older, the tantrums continue. Now you like the girl or boy who doesn’t return the affection, or you wish you looked different, or you wish your parents had more money. Reality isn’t doing what you want, and all these things seem like mistakes.
Adults are no different: forever craving things they do not have, outraged by all the mistakes in life. It is very possible for a middle class person in a developed country, who has never dealt with true oppression or hardship, to go through life feeling like a victim of tragic injustice. Petty grievances rule people’s lives, and they live and die in misery — even when, by certain standards, their lives are quite comfortable.
This happens because people believe there are mistakes in reality.
It is not uncommon for a poor villager in an impoverished country to feel more inner peace and clarity than the well-fed person in the developed nation.
When people have a sense of faith, meaning, and purpose — when they believe even in the possibility of a deeper intelligence at the heart of reality — then this inures them to life’s challenges to some degree.
People still face loss and grief, faith will always be challenged. But even to be open to the possibility of a deeper wisdom at the heart of reality, one that does not make mistakes… this is the beginning of true peace, true freedom.
There is a power at the heart of reality. It is so vast that it cannot ever be grasped by the human mind.
You are a part of it, and it is a part of you.
It does not make mistakes. It does not play dice with the universe.
Nothing in reality is harder than believing this, in the face of all the evidence against it. Nothing is harder than true faith.
Paradoxically, if this awareness penetrates every part of you — life gets very simple, and relatively easy.
So just try it on for size one day.
What if you went through your day with the belief that “There are no mistakes in reality.”
What if every news story that provokes outrage were met with this belief?
What if all your daily struggles were met with this belief?
Nothing is a mistake. Nothing is an error. Whatever is happening, is supposed to be happening. Wherever you are, that is where you are supposed to be.
This will run counter to human nature. It may seem wrong, unnatural, uncaring, blind, stupid, and naive.
But just try it on.
Every war ever fought was fought by someone who believed there were mistakes in reality. Every act of murder and terrorism is committed by someone who believes there are mistakes in reality.
Trusting in a deeper wisdom will not make you passive or inactive. Far from it.
If you struggle a great deal in life, and yearn for peace — look here.
If people trusted the deep wisdom of reality, and did not believe in mistakes, there would be no wars, no violence.