The Tao te Ching observes, Water doesn't force its way, water finds its way. The same source favors having no agenda beyond knowing what is called for and doing it the way it needs to be done, at the time it needs to be done, and then, letting nature take its course into the next moment, when we do the same thing, moment-by-moment, situation-by-situation, our entire life long. Ambition and personal advancement, gain, advantage, benefit, profit are to be dismissed in favor of responding sincerely and spontaneously to the need of the moment at hand. Do your work and step back, without manipulating the results, exploiting your opportunities or pulling strings to arrange an outcome you find to be pleasing. Be a breath of fresh air straight from heaven, like dew on the grass, refreshing all who pass by, a gift of grace unexpected and uplifting! Without cost or obligation-- pure joy with nothing due.
Every living thing is for something and against something else. "For" implies "against," just like "yes" implies "no," and vice-versa. It is important/essential that we know what we are for and what we are against. Where does "for" and "against" come from? Trace it back to its source! Note what comes up all along the way. "Why am I for what I'm for and against what I'm against?" "What do I know that I don't know I know?" "What is the source of my motivation?" "What is the origin of my action?" "What guides my boat on its path through the sea?" "What guides my steps on their path through life?" "Why do I do what it do, and not do what I don't do?" "What is directing me along the way?" These are essential questions that we all need to explore in a regular, recurring, way. Our for and against are central to who we are and what we are about. They form the crux of our identity. They are who we are. We cannot make our way through the world without knowing what we are for and what we are against.
We are surrounded by, and awash in, stupidity. What keeps us going? We have to remember-- and be reminded of-- what keeps us going, because living will take the life right out of us. And we have to have a life-line with that "well-spring of living water," or it's the desert and the wasteland forever. What is your well-spring of living water? What is your source of life, and light, and peace? Where do you go to restore your soul? To regain your balance? To renew your harmony? To find what you need to face what faces you, day-after-day-after-day? We have to find our own solace, and without that, we have no chance in this world, with its clashing rocks and its heaving waves, and its wine-dark seas. So. What is your source of solace? Do not tell me "Vodka and weed"! Or "Money and sex"! Or "Any form of escape, diversion, distraction, denial"! I'm talking about your Ground and Foundation here! Your Core and your Center! Your Source of Confidence and Power! WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING??? What keeps me going are regular, and I mean daily, retreats into silence and solitude where I "return to the Source," and "remember to seek out my Original Nature," and re-establish my connection with "who I am and what I am about," and breathe deeply the AUM flowing through life and being, and live from there in re-engaging my life-in-the-world until my next retreat into silence and solitude-- which cannot come too soon! I live within the rhythm created by silence and solitude and "the truth of how things are," and the reality of where I live and "the truth of how things also are." This is the Yin/Yang of my personal experience and existence. And I consciously, mindfully, embrace that foundational truth, and take up my work with the Sisyphean Task of doing what is mine to do the way only I can do it, where I am, here and now, anyway, nevertheless, even so-- for no reason other than here I am and this is what is mine to do. "What I do is me, for that I came" (Gerard Manley Hopkins). And I do it because it is who I am and what I do-- "Without hope, without witness, without reward" (Steven Moffat/Dr. Who).
It is said that the Buddha died from eating improperly cooked pork. How enlightened was that? And, it is said that Lao-tse/tzu, the Old Boy himself, said, "To hell with it!" and, demoralized and disgusted with the moral and political state of things, went off "to the west" to sulk and die-- after writing in the Tao te Ching about the importance of having no ambition, and "doing your work and stepping aside," and being like water, not forcing your way but finding it... And it is said that Jesus said "Love your enemies," and then enraged his enemies so much they killed him... And the Dali Lama talks, talks, talks about compassion, and his bodyguards carry automatic weapons... All of which is to say, gurus aren't what they are purported to be. Take all of your gurus "with a grain of salt," and put more importance on what they do than on what they say-- and ask them what their contradictions are, and how they square themselves with them. I've never met a guru worth talking to. They are always asking, "What question do you have?" without ever telling you what question they have, beyond what question you have. People without questions are not worth your time. If you don't have more questions than answers, you are much too comfortable and at ease to be of any help to yourself or to anyone else, and should spend more time seeing what you look at and less time talking about what you have seen. Ask everyone you meet what their questions are. Let that be your guide as to where you go from there.