All things in the world are one. Things that are thought beautiful are considered miraculous and marvelous; things that are thought ugly are considered rotten and repulsive. The truth is that rot and repulsion can transform into miracles and marvels, and that miracles and marvels can transform into rot and repulsion.
Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.
The Taoists have a famous teaching about an empty boat that rams into your boat in the middle of a river. While you probably wouldn’t be angry at an empty boat, you might well become enraged if someone were at its helm.
The point of the story is that the parents who didn’t see you, the other kids who teased you as a child, the driver who aggressively tailgated you yesterday – are all in fact empty, rudderless boats. They were compulsively driven to act as they did by their own unexamined wounds, therefore they did not know what they were doing and had little control over it.
Just as an empty boat that rams into us isn’t targeting us, so too people who act unkindly are driven along by the unconscious force of their own wounding and pain.
Until we realize this, we will remain prisoners of our grievance, our past, and our victim identity, all of which keep us from opening to the more powerful currents of life and love that are always flowing through the present moment.
We suffer from the delusion that the entire universe is held in order by the categories of human thought, fearing that if we do not hold to them with the utmost tenacity, everything will vanish into chaos.
“Putting enlightenment above and beyond yourself, only
perpetuates the false idea/condition that you are somehow separate from your
eternal nature and that someday you will reach it.” ~Anon I mus (Spiritually