Chapter 8: Cut the Root
The song continues:
Cut the root of a tree and the leaves will wither;
cut the root of your mind and samsara falls.
The light of any lamp dispels in a moment
the darkness of long kalpas.
The strong light of the Mind in but a flash
will burn the veil of ignorance.
Whoever clings to mind, sees not the truth
of what’s beyond the mind.
Whoever strives to practice dharma,
finds not the truth of beyond-practice.
To know what is beyond both mind and practice
one should cut cleanly through the root of mind, and stare naked.
One should thus break away from all distinctions,
and remain at ease.
Choice is bondage, choicelessness freedom. The moment you choose something, you have fallen into the trap of the world. If you can resist the temptation to choose, if you can remain choicelessly aware, the trap disappears on its own accord, because when you don’t choose you don’t help the trap to be there - the trap is also created by your choice. So this word choice has to be understood very deeply, because only through that understanding can choicelessness flower in you.
Why can’t you remain without choosing? Why does it happen that the moment you see a person or a thing, immediately a subtle wave of choice has entered in you, even if you are not aware that you have chosen? A woman passes by and you say she is beautiful. You are not saying anything about your choice, but the choice has entered, because to say of a person that she is beautiful means, “I would like to choose her.” In fact, deep down you have chosen; you are already in the trap. The seed has fallen to the soil; soon there will be sprouts, there will be a plant and a tree.
The moment you say, “This car is beautiful,” choice has entered. You may not be aware at all that you have chosen, that you would like to possess the car, but in the mind a fantasy has entered, a desire has arisen. When you say something is beautiful, you mean that you would like to have it. When you say something is ugly, you mean that you would not like to have it.
Choice is subtle and one has to be very minutely aware of it. Whenever you say something, remember that saying is not only saying, not a mere saying; something has happened in the unconscious. Don’t make the distinction: this is beautiful and that is ugly, this is good and that is bad. Don’t make the distinction. Remain aloof. Things are neither bad nor good. The quality of goodness or badness is introduced by you. Things are neither beautiful nor ugly; they are simply there, as they are - the quality of being beautiful or ugly is introduced by you; it is your interpretation.