The Whole Mess

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 12

Trying to see everything,
we become blind.
Listening to every voice,
we become confused.
Attempting to satisfy all our appetites
we become weary.
Being driven this way and that by our conditioning
makes us crazy.
Buying more things
only wastes our energy.

Outer things exist,
but do not define us.
We are mysterious and internal, not obvious and external.
My journey over the past few years has been going toward less and less: fewer possessions, smaller home, less income, less media input, and less media output that constructs a public image. There is a “ground level consciousness” within each of us that is unchanged by any accumulation of things, ideas, or honors. This ground level consciousness is like a mirror that simply sees and reflects the external but remains unchanged by it. Since this consciousness sees clearly, it can give rise to effective action.

I also believe that this consciousness is, by nature, compassionate. I believe this because on those occasions when I become still enough to sense this consciousness, compassion is what arises. In this stillness there is no anger, no fear, no needs, no grasping, no “me” at all; simply compassion for the “whole mess.”

3 thoughts on “The Whole Mess”

  1. Yes, Bill, thank you. In my former life as a psychotherapist, I ultimately found my main function was to become this “mirror”. When I was able to stay “grounded” compassion would indeed arise, and folks would relax and let go more freely. Of course, it is still the case, always will be. Blessings to you today, Bill finding the pathafter losing itgap in the clouds In gratitude,Mike


  2. Well Bill, I found if I reply through my e-mail rather than on your blog directly, it will get through. It did not, however, set off the haiku or translate the line breaks. Oh well, sorry for this inconvenience. Mike


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