The way is broad, reaching left as well as right.
The myriad creatures depend on it for life yet it claims no authority.
It accomplishes its task yet lays claim to no merit.
It clothes and feeds the myriad creatures
yet lays no claim to being their master.
For ever free of desire, it can be called small; yet, as it lays no claim to
being master when all things turn to it, it can be called great.
The way is broad, reaching left as well as right is so forgiving. To see broadly makes me feel connected. The big picture is all inclusive. What a contrast this view is from the ‘good’ versus ‘evil’ world view held by many; such a stand always puts you at odds with half the universe. There is much more peace in a view of Oneness. Of course, I too am forever trying to narrow life down to left (or right) is best. I guess we all do. When carrying on your head your perplexed bodily soul can you embrace in your arms the One, And not let go? [see ch. 10]. My perplexed bodily soul” must drive me to chose sides.
When, on occasion, I’m free of desire, I do feel small to the point of vanishing. By contrast, chasing desire increases my sense of self importance. The self who desires and the desire produce each other. As Buddha’s 2nd Truth states: ‘The illusion of self originates and manifests itself in a cleaving to things’. Cleaving being the desire to hang on to….whatever.
It clothes and feeds the myriad creatures yet lays no claim to being their master has been a good model for parenting. It’s easy to be an over bearing authority with children who depend on it for life. While I appreciate this model, I think it’s only because I’m more mature now that I don’t claim to be master. In younger years I would have!
Why do I seek merit. Why not accomplish my task yet lay claim to no merit? I only claim merit when I feel a deep inner lack of merit; I feel disconnected and isolated, and by claiming merit I soothe those feelings and give myself the fleeting illusion of connection to the way. Because it’s not real, I constantly need to reestablish my claim to merit.
Life has a biological need to BE. To live, life forms must go against the flow of entropy, and concentrate and focus energy. This is the root of desire. For me, it’s not desire that’s a problem. Though, I do enjoy any blissful moments when I’m free from it. My life’s stress comes from desires which carry me away from equilibrium, too many desires, conflicting desires, or desires which while promising benefit end up harmful. I think peace is possible if I desire only to the point of balancing entropy. There is this deep drive for MORE… more is better. And, in the jungle such a drive would be counter-balanced by opposing forces of nature. In the contrived circumstances of civilization however, LESS brings more balance. More desire is just overkill and I end up with the chaos of unwanted consequences.
It is because it never attempts itself to be great that it succeeds in