“Everything is going to be okay.”
“What a ridiculous thing to say. You can’t prove that. And obviously everything isn’t okay, nor is it going to suddenly become okay. Just look at <insert favorite gripe topic here – war, famine, global warming, politics, disease, etc. etc.>”
“That’s true, I can’t prove everything’s going to be okay. But you can’t prove it won’t. ‘Everything is going to be okay,’ like any statement about ‘everything’, is a statement of belief, not of provable fact. We live in the present, and the present is the only moment to which we have direct access. Statements about the sum total of the future are pure speculation and fabrication.”
“So you admit it.”
“Of course – do you? Think of it this way – if ‘everything is going to be okay’ and ‘everything is terrible’ are both statements of belief, I’ll take the positive one, because it has a direct impact on the quality of my present moment. Why on earth should negative belief be assumed to have more dignity and realistic weight than positive belief?”
This is what happens to my internal arguments when I start reading about Zen. I could probably sum up the whole darn thing with a quote from Finding Nemo:
Marlin: How do you know something bad won’t happen?
Dory: I don’t!