The way of the child is innocent wonder at the experience of being alive. And spontaneous sincerity in response to that experience. There is no sense of seeking advantage and gain. Just being wrapped in the radiance of splendor and mystery is gift enough. Why look for more when each moment is a blessing, and a thunderstorm is a day's worth of amazement in a fifteen minute display of lightening and thunder? What becomes of the child? How much can we recover with a walk in the woods? Or sitting on some porch watching the rain? What paths remain that may still be walked in the spirit of the child?
We must say "Yes. Isn't that the way it is, though?" to ruthless brutality as we take whatever steps need to be taken in opposition to it-- in the work to triumph over it. Fascism is the other side of Truth, Justice, Equality, Liberty! Just as darkness is the other side of light. It is the business of light to keep on shinning. Anyway, nevertheless, even so! "Yes. Isn't that the way it is, though?" says Sisyphus, walking around the boulder, doing the work that is his to do. Some people might call it punishment. Some people might call it a curse. Some people might call it job security. Some people might call it the very thing I was born to do. I call it, "That which desperately needs to be done-- and needs us to do it!"
Sunflowers have become The Gateless Gate as we have become engaged in the transformation from flower to symbol of hope and relentless determination in the service of the Light. "Turning the Light Around" is another term for "The Gateless Gate" in the Taoist tradition. It is the process whereby one thing becomes another by the way our perspective shifts in the work of transcendence and transformation. We experience something similar in the presence of optical illusions, where one thing becomes another before our eyes. The old Buddhist designation of reality as "Illusion," is a perfect example of one thing, not only becoming, but also being, quite another. This is caught up in another reference to enlightenment with the phrase, "The way to the Way is also the Way," meaning that everything is a doorway, a threshold, a Gateless Gate, instantly transporting us from here and now to the wonders of the Farther Shore, Sweet Beulah Land, Nirvana, the Elysian Fields, the Promised Land and all the other designations available on the other side of "the doors of perception." All it takes is seeing in order to see. We will never see a sunflower the same way we have seen sunflowers now that we have finally, at last, seen a sunflower for what else it also is! The Gateless Gate!
My friend Bill Hamilton came upon his friend Alan Stacell throwing stretched canvases of his artwork into the bed of his pickup. Bill asked him what he was doing. Alan said he was taking the canvases to the dump in order to make room in his art shed to store more. Bill confessed to not understanding throwing art way to make a place for more art. Alan said, "I paint like a dog wags its tail!" When we make making money from what we do the point and purpose of what we do, we lose sight of the importance of doing what we do for the sake of doing it the way it needs to be done for experience and joy of doing it-- and the satisfaction of having done it-- alone. When we do what we do for the sole purpose of doing it, and doing it well, getting it right, doing it the way it needs to be done, here and now, we are transformed by it, become better at it, and transcend the popular understanding of motivation, purpose, and reasons why we do anything-- pass through The Gateless Gate, and live to be who we are, doing what we do, "like a dog wags its tail."
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