Saturday, January 17, 2009

Look Within

Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may sees the way of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.

Thus the sage knows without traveling;
He sees without looking;
He works without doing.
~ Tao Te Ching, Forty-Seven ~
For me, this verse is so straightforward and, yet concurrently, so elusive. The message itself is very clear -- whatever one seeks in a spiritual or divine way is inside each of us.

You can't find it in a book, holy or otherwise.

You can't find it in a gathering of fellow believers.

You can't find it by talking to a priest, minister, rabbi, shaman, sage or prophet.

You can't even find it by praying or conversing with anything external to you.

No, if you want to discover the ever-flowing spring of life, all you have to do is look in your own heart. It's there waiting for you to discover and embrace it!

With such a simple message, why then is it so elusive?

Our hearts are covered up with layer upon layer of hubris and vanities. It's like standing in an abandoned and neglected field, overtaken by decades of weeds and brambles, to try to find a pinhead. There are so many thorns and stickers in our way that most of us give up without much effort. It seems like such an impossible task.

But where a neglected field needs a mower or a machete and hours of backbreaking work to clear it, all we need to find the source within us is silence. Unfortunately, silence is a skill that few of us ever obtain.

It's certainly not hard to understand in this modern world. Noise is everywhere. It's on the streets, in our homes AND in our minds. The very concept of inner silence (i.e., peace) seems so foreign and unobtainable. But it IS within our grasp.

However, when we try to scoop it up all at once, it slips through our fingers again and again. The harder we try to hold it, the quicker it fades away. We become royally frustrated and decide to give up on the enterprise altogether.

Yet, even as we walk away from ourselves, deep down we each know the key to unlock the door. Silence comes with patience and practice.

2 comments:

  1. For most people it is fear that holds them back from self realization. In order to begin seeing the world as it really is you have to be willing to give up your attachments and your imagined connections to the world. Most of us define ourselves by how we fit into the world around us. We believe our jobs, status, religion, etc. are who we are. Giving up all that is a terrible thing to contemplate and even though the fear is unconscious we all have it and it stops us. Even the conscious effort through meditation can be another attachment that stops us from entering the flow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The real trick is to hear the silence within the noise.

    Shhh... ;^)

    ReplyDelete

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