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There is an argument form that is useful in deconstructing abstractions one has held previously. It involves the fact that, if two things are equivalent, then they are equivalent and there is no use talking about the difference; in a sense, a third way of thinking is born.

For example: If I claim that every action is selfish, then the only implication comes from any distaste you have for the word selfish – to say that every action is selfish really means that there is no such thing as selfishness OR selflessness. The terms themselves lose their meaning without differentiation and must be thought of in a new way.

As I have said before, you become what you do, and since you are a reflection of a reference point in existence, reality becomes what you do. In this way, you are changed by your environment, and your environment (and reality) is changed by you. But the most important thing about this is that it does not matter which happens, the result is the same. Let me say that again – the result is the same. There is no differentiation and therefore no meaning behind what path is taken.

This idea is useful when engaging the satisfaction of desires. We can continue to try to accomplish a particular goal, or we can reevaluate our goals. Reality doesn’t care either way – it will change nonetheless. It is true that we may find one method more appealing than another, for the same reasons that bring about our values, and that is and should be factored into our choice of rituals. But this is true only insofar as it helps us engage the Process.

There is a mystical phrase, “as above, so below”, which means that changes in a microcosm will be reflected in changes to the macrocosm – changes in the self will bring about changes in reality, and vice versa. This is the essence of what we are speaking of here. Depending on the paradigm, rituals can be seen as useful from either side – either altering reality in a way that alters the self (and therefore satisfies desires), or alters the self in a way that alters reality. But again, the result is the same, and illustrative of one of the main components of pragmatic truth:

If it works, then it is true.

The key is to recognize when trying to change the world to satisfy your desires is no longer possible (and thus change your goals), or conversely, when giving up will only bring you further away from your desires.

We don’t want to make it sound like you can simply give up on your goals and everything will continue to engage the process just fine – as we’ll get into there are some goals that move us towards greater satisfaction of desires than others. But recognizing when you need to let go in order to continue to engage the process is important to anyone looking to adopt pragmatic truth.

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