How many people in the world are looking to align with Tao? Not so many but enough for an industry. How many people seek an awakening or spiritual enlightenment? Quite a large number, enough for a multi million dollar industry. How many people are looking to be right with God? Millions. Enough for a billion dollar industry.
To align with Tao. To become enlightened. To be right in God's eyes are different enough but the same in a way. A mind made transformation in a time other than now.
One can not be wrong with God, unenlightened or out of line with Tao. Perhaps the works of man in the name of God are most demanding when they say "all is God's way but man chooses to do right or wrong" but if, to save lengthy debate, we say that this also is God's way then we can move forward to the marrow.
The three cases I've raised are a human journey of the mind.
For the sake of my typing, your reading and the blog I'm speaking on I'll now speak of Tao and perhaps enlightenment (as Zen is so commonly spoken of alongside Tao). When I say though that one can not be out of line with Tao, unenlightened or so on, I will be equally and as correctly referring to God, Allah, spirit, nature, the ocean of being, or any other name for the absolute.
The absolute, the all, the everything, in most people's eyes includes them. In truth though there is no 'it and them' but 'it' only. You're it. One can only convince themselves that they are apart or separate by the use of the mischievous mind.
The mind, on hearing of enlightenment or Tao, creates a split. It then sets about trying to resolve the split. Alike to the quest for selflessness which is an entirely selfish act so too the quest for aligning or becoming exist also. As with all tricks on the mind from anxiety to stress, from fear to remorse, they exist in a time other than now. That is, they don't exist, except in the mind.
What is aimed for in the future that can already be nothing but the case already. Our example being: aiming for awakening tomorrow when it can only be the case now - these are insoluble mind tricks. These are the tricks that the million and billion dollar industries play off, are fueled by.
It was already the case before your birth that nature, the universe, Tao was one. At birth, also one. In times of mind made turmoil, also one. Death and after, also one. The mere concept of there being something to get right with produces the seed of separation.
We can not be blamed though. (Why we should be blamed at all is a joke to me but seems it must be addressed.) - long before humans were here, nature had come to have self and other. Even by close example our ape cousins or beloved pets have self and other in their nature. We though, we named and labeled. We took names, labels and concepts to have concrete reality. Years later in our history this ingrained trait is want for abuse as it runs wild unchecked.
The nature of how we can be fooled into taking labels for forms and also labels for nebulous concepts and imbuing them substance is covered in other posts.
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