The ends justifies the means. Most people are familiar with this quote. This quote is a derivative from the chapter XVIII content of “The Prince” by Niccolo` Machiavelli. He originally wrote “Si Guarda al fine”. This would normally be translated as “Pay attention to the result”. This excerpt from Chapter XVIII does not really have any correlation with the present popular quote. We could also write that the end justifies the means.
We are more interested in a spiritual quality and reference to be found in this quote. A suitable quote paraphrase for our discussion would be; All experiences lead to this moment; or do they? Lately I have noticed a subtle interference in my state of active awareness to the present moment. Layman’s term “I have been distracted”. I have reflectively considered the core of this interference.
It has been possible for me to determine that this has originated due to a phase of dissatisfaction. I have been pondering over a few past situations in areas of school, career and love. What started this phase of self- destruction? It was the “mind” with all of its content structures. The mind attached itself to a few passing memories and bingo; thoughts and thought patterns were activated by the brain. The memory content distractions were sufficient to throw the form existence (me) and the true “self” off track.
I began to recall events from the past over the last few days. Many of these events were what we might consider “turning points”. It is typical for people to recall different situation from the supposed “past”. We commonly rejoice over the memories of situations that developed into something that is considered “good”. We usually regret any situation from the past that might now be viewed as diverting us from a given endeavor or goal. The difficulty in this mind / memory game arises from the moments that we have experienced since any given past event. The situations that developed in a “good” pattern are hardly considered. The regretful situations are those that the mind; thus ego and emotions can use to manipulate and restrict the present moment (the now).
Beginning or End: There is only the now
We generally follow a standard “regret reaction pattern” when considering past unwanted situation. The memories are bombarded by the mind’s influences. The mind injects and strengthens old thought patterns and emotions from any given situation. 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 everything now could be so much different if only a situation was done differently than how he or she had done it. We often accuse ourselves, others or the content of a past moment for causing our present moment. This; in itself, may hold a given truth. Still the significance lies in how we feel, decide and react to the present moment. Reacting to the present moment while substantiating it with mind, ego and emotions derived through a past moment will surly cause problems.
There are countless doors ready to be opened when we accept all that has lead us to the moment of now. “The end justifies the means” has no validity in consciousness. There is only the now; in this “now” each of us can decide, do and be. Each of us can change anything and everything in this moment; although the conditioning resulting from past situations are used by the mind to confuse us.
Best wishes to everyone
P.S. The link below offers ideas about the ends and means regarding happiness.