In the forty-eighth chapter of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tse wrote, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Chuang-tse described the principle in his own humorous way:
‘I am learning, ‘ Yen Hui said.
‘How?’ the Master asked.
‘I forgot the rules of righteousness and the levels of benevolence,’ he replied.
‘Good, but could be better,’ the Master said.
A few days later, Yen Hui remarked, ‘I am making progress.’
‘How?” asked the Master.
‘I forgot the rituals and the music,’ he answered.
‘Better, but not perfect,’ the Master said.
Some time later, Yen Hui told the Master, ‘Now I sit down and forget everything.’
The Master looked up startled. ‘What do you mean, you forget everything’ he quickly asked.
‘I forget my body and senses, and leave all appearance and information behind,’ answered Yen Hui. ‘In the middle of nothing, I join the source of all things.’
The Master bowed. ‘You have transcended the limitations of time and knowledge. You have found the way.’
The mind can do so much more than just gathering, storing and sorting information, we are not computers, in fact we can do what a computer does skilfully and effortlessly but we are so much more than this. To think is an amazing thing but not to think is even more amazing, the power of a clear mind is beyond description, like trying to describe colours to a blind man, how would you do that? This clear mind starts when we are children, helpless but completely aware of things, then as we grow we change and this brings all kinds of entanglements and pain. Why do the enlightened ones seem so light and filled with happiness? Because they have returned to the beginning, they have become children again, not concerned with the inappropriate and inefficient things that the mind becomes so concerned with, but only concerned with wisdom, to know what is important and what is not, to know what can be changed and what can not, to observe and to see everything as an opportunity. They have become children that know. They have emptied their minds of the countless minute irrelevant things and filled them with the wisdom of the great nothing, the way of the universe. The brain is a marvellous thing which can perform all sorts of tasks, too much cleverness though only separates us from what is real, separates us from Mother Earth, from all of nature that surrounds us. Look at what too much cleverness has done for our planet? If only we could stop still, there was a time when telepathy was normal, when human beings could converse with the plants and animals, there was no separation, but then the humans ego began to grow and grow and it got too big and look what happened, we became full of cleverness that destroys the very nature of who we are. If only we could stop looking at other people and competing with everyone and recognise our own self and the beauty within us.
We need to learn to un-think to simply be, to find our strength in simplicity and the beauty of nothingness. There is too much concentration on the mind, too much effort put into thinking, we need to put more concentration into the heart, to learn the value of wisdom and to be content, to find contentment. We need to un-complicate ourselves, try not to be the glorious carved statue but remain in the most powerful form as the un-carved block. Cleverness is destroying life as we know it, so stop still and forget the noises of cleverness and take time to listen to the wisdom of simplicity, the voice within. Everybody has this voice within but there are those that listen and those that don’t. There are the people that make the time to listen and there are those busy busy run arounds that are always too busy for anything but inflating their ego in one way or another and trying to become more and more clever.
Simply stop and listen and find that beauty of nothing, then peace will grow and grow and contentment will grow and grow, all irrelevance will dissolve and we can laugh again like the child that we all essentially are.
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May we all find harmony, balance and peace.
Mangala / Nicky.