Have in your hold the great image
And the empire will come to you.
Coming to you and meeting with no harm
It will be safe and sound.
Music and food
Will induce the wayfarer to stop.
I have two principle mental states. I’m either grasping after something I feel I need or I have in my hold the great image (to some extent) and rest content. When I’m mindful of the great image I’m quiet and can let the empire come to me, instead of chasing after life. Of course, when instincts take over, I drop the great image and off I go, which is natural. However, to keep such chaotic reactions minimal, I must be careful how I categorize my perceptions. The more weight I give to judgments, the more likely I’m going to over-react as though my survival depends on them. That’s fine if a bus is barreling down on me, but a foolish waste of energy if I get provoked by a bus going too slow, for example.
The broader my perspective, the more moderate my response to irritating situations. When I hold the great big picture, I can avoid getting embroiled in much of the unnecessary drama which is all around me. A bit of drama is okay, but to spend my whole life skipping from one drama to the next…
There is a kind of ‘Catch 22’ dilemma at play here. When I stop, I can more easily have in my hold the great image; yet only when I have in my hold the great image am I able to really stop. Thus, I find it helpful to actively keep in mind Scriptural precepts. These may help guide my perceptions and defuse instinctual reactions. Then at least I have a fighting chance?
I’m a wayfarer traveling through life. My need to feel safe and sound drives everything I do. This is true even, for example, when in youth I drove my motorcycle 120mph. Simply speaking, the motor cycle and speed compensated for my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. I felt more safe and secure from the sensation of power which the cycle gave me, even though I put myself at considerable risk!
Music and food induce the wayfarer to stop until he’s satiated. Then it’s on to the next desire. Desire works by creating a biochemical illusion that you can never stop and rest until you satisfy it (the desire). The most powerful needs even convince you that, once satiated, you’ll be able to stop and enjoy everlasting happiness. After years of being hoodwinked by this illusion, I’ve learned to distrust its siren call; all ‘needs’ are unreal and relative, and none will deliver me to happiness. This growing distrust of apparent reality turns me inward to hold the great image. When I do, I stop and rest content.
The way in its passage through the mouth is without flavour.
It cannot be seen,
It cannot be heard,
Yet it cannot be exhausted by use.
The way in its passage through the mouth is without flavor invokes my mind to look for what’s hidden. This helps me discover a broader perspective than I would have if I just focused of what seems obvious. What seemed obvious yesterday has become murky today. I’ve grown to distrust that which seems obvious today, for there is a good chance it won’t be tomorrow. When I look deeper within, I find something more constant, though it cannot be seen, it cannot be heard, yet it cannot be exhausted by use.
My senses provide me raw data about external conditions. By themselves, the senses are not a problem; their effects depend on what degree of truth and importance I assign to each flavor. How I judge them determines my life. Seeking truth and importance through that which has flavor, stirs me around, up and down, on the turbulent surface waters of life. I remain mostly oblivious to the great image. I never really stop, and feel safe and sound until death sets me free. In a way, death and the great image have much in common.
The most important ‘thing’ in life lies beneath my senses. I’ve always known this, but the push—pull of my emotions and senses keeps enticing me to gobble up that which has flavor! Thankfully, as the years go by I tend to gobble less and savor more of that which cannot be seen, and cannot be heard.