Monday, February 25, 2013

Nothing To Do

Scott Bradley

Zhouzi took his seat before the hall and spoke to those assembled saying, "What is not already complete among us? We squabble. We strive. We accomplish. We fail. We rejoice. We sorrow. Yet have we ever been anything other than complete in it all? Liu, will you not answer for us all?"

"Master," spoke Liu, "fish ever abide in water where they school or take their own independent way; they fight for territory, prey on each other, live and die, yet never do they leave the medium which gives them life. Thus it is written, 'humans abide in Dao as fish abide in water'; how could they not be ever complete?"

"Well said, Liu," replied Zhouzi. "We take heaven and earth as one body; there is no space between them. We affirm all things upon the earth as one body; there is no better or worse among them. We take each and every thing as a unique expression of All; All abides in every singular thing. Thus it is also said, 'Heaven and earth encompass all that is, but do not strive to make it so.' And thus it is concluded, 'He who knows how to be great and all-encompassing seeks nothing, loses nothing, abandons nothing.' What say you Liu of those who fail of 'greatness' and are not 'all-encompassing'?"

"Master," answered Liu, "if there was never anything to 'seek', 'lose', or 'abandon', then 'greatness' is awareness unachieved and 'all-encompassing' is already naturally so; only we strive and squabble, achieve and fail, because we remain unaware of the nature of things."

"Thus our achieving is a non-achieving, and our striving is a non-striving” added Zhouzi. “We seek only to realize what is already so, and never as if it were ever other than so. To fail is to succeed when it understands this; and to fail of even this is to fail of joy, and nothing more."

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