Wars are always coming along. I don't know why. I'm not saying there aren't people who don't need killing, but most of those who do, start wars, when it ought to be the other way around. Make sense of it if you can. Making sense of things that make no sense is one of the many things humans take on themselves, when everybody would be better off if they just made some coleslaw, and invited their friends over to have some. Coleslaw parties have fallen out of vogue, it seems. No one has them anymore. It's easier to find a war than a Coleslaw party. And that's something else that makes no sense. If you start a list of all of the things that make no sense, you will spend all of your time writing, and never get around to making that coleslaw. If you are ever so inclined, and find yourself in need of a recipe, here is one my Mom dictated to my sister Susan:
Grate cabbage Add Mayonnaise 'til it looks right Add chopped onion to taste Add lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper Practice a bit 'til it comes out right
However it turns out, it will be better than going to war.
Two realizations form the ground of the Gateless Gate and Turning The Light Around: We are fine right now, just as we are. We will be fine no matter what, just as we are. "Just as we are" consists entirely of our original nature and the virtues that came with us from the womb. Our original nature replete with its virtues are all we need to find what we need to be who we are in whatever landscape-- in whatever conditions and circumstances-- we find ourselves in in every here and now that comes along. We do not need more than we have in our original natuer and its virtues. This is a foundational realization. It is all of the enlightenment we need. We are fine just as we are. But. There is a catch. We have to be just as we are for it to take effect. For us to be fine just as we are, we have to be just as we are. At one with, in sync with, aligned with, in accord with, our original nature and its virtues. If we are ever going to be anything, let it be that. Aligned with our original nature and its virtues, we are in full accord with the Tao, the Source of the source of heaven and earth and all there is and ever will be-- which is to say, "The way things are and the way things need to be." The work of being aligned with our original nature and its virtues is the work of managing our contradictions, in the service of balance and harmony, conducted in the emptiness, stillness and silence, waiting for the clarity that comes when the mud settles and the water clears, and the Way opens before us inviting us to step into the adventure of being alive. Just as we are.
Qi is understood by the old Taoists to be the vital life force enabling, sustaining, maintaining all sentient beings, all living things. When we use up our Qi it is all over, good-bye. Our place is to use our Qi in the service of the right things. This is where the Tao comes into play. To be in accord with the Tao, we do the right things in the right place at the right time in the right way. Tomato plants and cats-- and all sentient beings other than human beings-- are in accord with the Tao and use their allotment of Qi wisely. Humans interfere with Tao and Qi by having ideas of how things ought to be that are not how things ought to be. How things ought to be is all things doing the right things in the right place at the right time in the right way. Forget how we want things to be. How do things need to be? That is the question we must know how to answer if we are to make the best use of our Qi and live in accord with the Tao of life and being. How do we know? We know through the quality of our relationship with the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence, while maintaining the balance and harmony among the contradictions/dichotomies/polarities at work in our life, in the service of our original nature and its virtues. The Way (Tao ) is a natural extension/expression of our original nature and its virtues being exhibited in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. Spontaneously, naturally, sincerely-- without agenda, opinion or motive beyond seeing what needs to be done and doing it for nothing more than the intrinsic joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it. And we do it by not striving/trying/endeavoring to do it. Which is wu-wei meaning achieving without trying to achieve-- as a by-product of Qi and Tao at work in our life. To live in right relationship with Qi, Tao and wu-wei we have to turn the light around, enter through the Gateless Gate, shift our perspective, flip our typical way of thinking and doing, and open ourselves to the world of what needs to be done here and now in each situation as it arises through all the days of our life. It is as simple as it is out of the question.