We don't see anything just as it is. Everything carries our projection of itself "as it is to us" for us to inspect, examine and admire, or detest, in a "Just as I thought" kind of way. We see what we expect to see, and are rarely surprised, merely affirmed. And the few surprises are easily folded into our expectations by expanding our theory regarding them to include the apparent exception, that is now understood as a "predictable aberration," and all is comfortably familiar as before. "There is nothing new under the Sun." Just more of the same old same old. And we never have to get outside of our prejudices, biases, assumptions and inferences in order to actually see what we behold. And when somebody, say like Jesus, comes along saying things that cannot be dismissed, discounted, ignored, we crucify him, or burn him at the stake, or lynch him and are done with him like that. It doesn't do to upset the apple cart, rock the boat and refuse to be who we say you are and ought to be. We rather like the world we say we hate and will not allow to change.
"The path that can be discerned as a path is not a reliable path." This is Martin Palmer's interpretation of the Lao Tzu's "The Tao that can be explained is not the eternal Tao." No maps. No words. No linear, sequential, step-by-step way to the Way. Teachers and masters are useless, except for being able to say "Teachers and masters are useless." And, "Don't listen to me! Listen to YOU!" And, "In listening to YOU, listen past all the noise to the core/center/source of you. "Empty yourself of all that interferes with knowing yourself, hearing yourself, listening to yourself, which means emptying yourself of everything-- even the desire to be empty. "Be the emptiness between breaths!" With that much instruction, we have all it takes to be on the way to the Way, which is, itself, the Way. "The Way to what?" To seeing, hearing, understanding, knowing, doing, being. "Understanding" means understanding there is nothing to understand, nothing that can be explained, defined, spelled-out, made clear... We are living out of our experience of what is here/now. Not out of our heads. The world is run out of heads. Everybody lives out of their heads. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Wanting, wanting, wanting. Striving, striving, striving... This situation that we all are now in is the result of that. That is the Wasteland. We are looking for the Gateless Gate that is the exit from the Wasteland to "the Land of Gentle Breezes/ Where the Peaceful Waters Flow" (Anne Murray, "Snowbird"). The Gateless Gate is the transition place, the fulcrum, the pivot point, between not-seeing and seeing, not-knowing and knowing, striving-but-not-doing and wu-wei. Between the Wasteland and Home. At Home, we live out of a spontaneous response to our experience of here/now, where there is very little thinking/planning/scheming/ conniving/striving in the service of advantage/gain/merit/payoff/wealth/ privilege/status and only living/seeing/doing in balance and harmony between "the great flow of circumstances" and "The Way of being in accord with the Tao," which is seeing/knowing our experience of here/now and responding to it in ways that are appropriate to the occasion, in each situation as it arises. Doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. And letting that be that. Spontaneously, in tune with the moment. Situation by situation. Period. This is the perspective that is the Elder Wand which transcends and transforms the world one situation at a time. And is the alternative to life as we know it. Waiting for us to take up the search for the Holy Grail from the Wasteland to Home by the way we respond to here/now, one after another. The Mystery of Yin-Yang, of Living/Being/Seeing/Doing by not doing anything special at all. Just ordinarily going about business as usual in a very unusual way.
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