text and photo © Jonathan Zap
Free will needs to be earned and requires the ability to break from our mechanical, habituated subpersonalities. The path of evolution is in returning to our essence after being conditioned into mechanicalness. According to the Taoist I Ching, evolution occurs on the path of “reverse alchemy,” the path of “returning to the Tao.” Evolution does not necessarily occur by perpetual attunement to the Tao. Daisies, spiders and viruses live perfectly attuned to the Tao, never deviate from it, but don’t have the potential for individual evolution that human beings possess. We are born in touch with our essence, but relentless programs of conditioning work to separate us from our original essence. However, if we are able to travel the difficult path of reverse alchemy, undo the many layers of conditioning and restore our original essence, then we will be evolved.
Consider this a propitious time to follow the path of reverse alchemy and help the Tin Man get back his heart.
For more on the mechanical nature of humanity, and how to overcome it, read The Fourth Way and/or In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky.