Commitments

Every act you commit, including every act of meaning, closes out all sorts of alternatives, and simultaneously opens up myriads more.

Once the fateful decision has been made, the words have left our lips of the body’s deed is done, the act is released into the flow of life. Its reverberative effects will, to some degree, reconfigure both ourselves and the world in which we encounter the next moral dilemma. The acts we commit now thus form the conditions under which future choices will have to be made.

Although an act is germinated in the privacy of one’s thoughts, as soon as it enters the public domain it cannot be retracted or recalled. Nagarjuna declares that

Acts, like contracts,
Are as irrevocable as debts—
Their irrevocability
Ensures fruition.

— Batchelor (2000, 79-80)

By their fruits we know them; the inevitablility of their consequences is what makes them meaningful. Nagarjuna’s ‘contract’ is cognate with the ‘covenant’ of the Abrahamic religions: their binding nature is what makes our freedom meaningful.

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