The end justifies the means. Most people are familiar with this quote. It originated in chapter XVIII of “The Prince” by Niccolo` Machiavelli. However, the original text read “Si Guarda al fine”. “Pay attention to the result” would be a fairly accurate translation. Nonetheless, this excerpt does not really have any correlation with the popular quote.
However, this quote does have insight that is helpful in our conscious awakening process. Therefore, let’s say “All experiences lead to this moment; or do they?” Several months ago I had noticed a subtle interference in my state of active awareness to the present moment. Here I must smile slightly at this terminology. It is much easier to say that I had been distracted. I reflectively considered the core of this interference. It was possible for me to determine that this had originated due to a phase of dissatisfaction. I had been pondering over past situations in areas of education, career and love. What started this phase of self- destructive contemplation?
The End is Just the Beginning
It was the “mind” with its content detail structures. It had attached itself to a few passing memories. This had distracted me from the present due to thought patterns activated by the brain. These distractions became a burden because I had diverted energy from conscious awareness to thoughts and emotions. I had “gone astray” and forgotten the depth of presence. Experiences may lead you to this moment. However, how you observe it depends on your active participation.
Henceforth, I had recalled events from the past that had nothing to do with now. Many of these experiences were turning points in my inner development. It is typical for people to recall different situations from a supposed past. Nevertheless, we commonly rejoice over the memories of situations termed “good”. However, we usually regret anything that has been termed as bad. This mind game can cause difficulty when we are not consciously aware. The regretful situations are those that the mind; thus ego and emotions can use to manipulate and restrict presence.
The End of Regret
We generally follow a standard “regret reaction pattern” when considering past unwanted situation. Memories are based on a foundation of conditioned factors. The mind injects and strengthens old thought patterns and emotions. This encourages a repetitive process of memories, thoughts and emotions. The mind is simply doing what it has evolved to do; function. How does “the end justifies the means” fit into this discussion?
Many individuals feel that life could be so much different. However, this conclusion is based on the memories of the past. These have nothing to do with now. We often accuse ourselves, others or the content of a past moment for contaminating our present moment. This; in itself, may hold a relative truth. Still the significance lies in how we feel, decide and respond to the present moment. However, reacting to the present moment through conditioned memories of the past will cause problems.
However, there are countless possibilities when we can accept a state of presence. Every person can change anything and everything in this moment. However, it is beneficial to realize that the mind uses conditioning that result from past situations to confuse us. “The end justifies the means” has no validity in consciousness. There is only presence. This is the one true state of living.