Friday, February 5, 2010

The Light Appears

The Xin Xin Ming continues:

但莫憎愛 洞然明白

Only do not hate or love

Correct realization appears

The next two lines of the Xin Xin are interesting. Through the Chinese characters, we see the journey of the sun. The sun rises with the character 但, but becomes covered in 莫. But then, in the next line, it breaks through, clear and unobstructed.

I translate these to mean, only do not love or hate and correct enlightenment comes through. The character for love here is the xin dancing. The character for hate is the heart piled on, i.e. covered over.

This leads to a key ancient Chinese concept: that our essence is good. The goal of spiritual practice is not to become something, but to uncover something. As the Tao
Te Ching says:

Pursue knowledge, daily gain
Pursue Tao, daily loss

Ignorance covers our true nature like the clouds blot out the sun. Behind the clouds, the sun is shining, and pure and bright as ever. The job of a spiritual cultivator is to remove the layers of ignorance that have accumulated over our own original sun. Cultivation is not about adding on. It’s about taking away.

This ignorance leads to both loving and hating, picking and choosing. When this stops, then enlightenment suddenly appears. In the Chinese characters, the 洞 is water pooling in a cave. The cave doesn’t pull the water in, the water just settles there, naturally. So, too, is it with wisdom knowledge.

As the Tao Te Ching continues:

Loss and more loss
Until one reaches unattached action
With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do
Take the world by constantly applying non-interference
The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world

Tao Te Ching translated by Derek Lin.

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