The Tao of Dark Sages
by Scott Bradley
by Scott Bradley
Good morning! Mark-tzu has told me you have an assignment. So, why are you here? Someone different. Buz, you haven’t said a thing. Why are you here?
Morning, Sue-tzu. Well, I thought that we had answered that question, but then I realized Mark-tzu was asking me to look more deeply at my own motivations. I have to admit that I really hadn’t done so. So, I’d like to tell you now that you two are helping me — whether that’s spiritually correct or not.
Yes. I guess we have accepted that fact. However disconcerting.
Why "disconcerting," Sue-tzu?
I quote from Chuang-tzu: "Mutton doesn’t want ants, but ants want mutton, especially when it is off." I just wonder how far "off" I am. But let’s return to Buz’s answer.
Wait a minute, Sue-tzu! Sorry, but I need to understand why you wouldn’t want to help us. If I’m an annoying "ant" then maybe I should just move on.
I’ve offended you, Scott-tzu! But please don’t take what I say personally. My concern is more with my harmony with the Tao than yours. When I asked, "Why are you here?", do you think I didn’t ask myself the same? What is it in me and Mark-tzu that brought you here? Is our "mutton off"? What does it mean to be "off"? It means that the sage has fallen into the trap of seeking to share. Why share? Why this desire and need to share?
Let me quote again from Chuang-tzu: "To know the Tao is easy, not to speak about it is hard. Knowing and not saying, this is to aspire to the Heavenly. Knowing and saying this is to be subject to the human element."
To be "off" is to seek external validation, to feed the ego-identity. Why do so-called gurus give satsangs, write books, start foundations, take new, exotic names, gather disciples? Though these things can no doubt arise positively, how much of it is just surrendering the knowledge of the Tao to the "earthly element"?
How much of it is a negation of the Tao itself? Beware those who share out of benevolence and compassion! What are these, but sneaky methods of feeding the ego-self, creating false purpose and meaning. To be in harmony with the Tao is to dwell identity-free in purposelessness and meaninglessness. That is freedom!
If you're interested in reading more from this series by Scott Bradley, go here.