Friday, December 14, 2018

The Watcher

“Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind rest at peace. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.”—The opening stanza of Chapter 16 of The Tao Te Ching

This post is more than likely going to result in a big yawn since the message should be self-evident, but probably not. Go see a movie (it’s instructive to my point) and you’ll undoubtedly notice two things: (1) You are sitting in your seat and (2) you’re seeing images moving on a screen. No-brainer. Watch TV; Same thing. Neither of those images is real and you know that. 

So far, so good. Now take it to a not-so-evident level—You see the world and it moves. There is still you but is what you’re seeing real? That is taken for granted as being real but as far as your mind is concerned it is no different from a movie or TV. Your true mind doesn’t distinguish. It just notices movement and you could be asleep and, in principle, it is the same. Dreams come, they go and there must be a you who sees what moves. That you, the true Self, is a constant. Yet it is not yours. It never moves and it can’t be found. It just watches, listens, smells, tastes and feels. It perceives everything but in itself is nothing.

“Look, and it cant be seen. Listen, and it cant be heard. Reach, and it cant be grasped.

Above, it isnt bright. Below, it isnt dark. Seamless, unnamable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Form that includes all forms, image without an image, subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end. You cant know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life. Just realize where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom.”—Chapter 14 of The Tao Te Ching

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