Sunday, July 19, 2020

at the center

The Master is not trapped in opposites. His this is also a that. 
He sees that life becomes death and death becomes life,
 that right has a kernel of wrong within it and wrong a kernel of right,
 that the true turns into the false and the false into the true. 

He understands that nothing is absolute,
 that since every point of view depends on the viewer, 
affirmation and denial are equally beside the point. 
The place where the this and the that are not opposed to each other
 is called "the pivot of the Tao." When we find this pivot, we find ourselves
 at the center of the circle, and here we sit, serene, 
while Yes and No keep chasing each other
 around the circumference, endlessly. 

Mind can only create the qualities of good and bad by comparing. 
Remove the comparison, and there go the qualities. 
What remains is the pure unknown: ungraspable object,
 ungraspable subject, and the clear light of awareness 
streaming through. The pivot of the Tao
 is the mind free of its thoughts.
 It doesn't believe that this is a this
 or that that is a that. 

Let Yes and No sprint around the circumference
 toward a finish line that doesn't exist. How can they stop trying
 to win the argument of life until you stop? When you do, 
you realize that you were the only one running.

 Yes was you,
 No was you, 
the whole circumference, with its colored banners,
 its pom-pom girls and frenzied crowds - that was you as well.
 At the center, the eyes open and again
 it's the sweet morning of the world. There's nothing here
 to limit you, no one here to draw a circumference.
 In fact, there's no one here - 
not even you.

~ Stephen Mitchell
from The Second Book of the Tao
art by Master Shen-Long
with thanks to Love is a Place