Chapter 6: Strive to No Goals
To live in the great way
is neither easy nor difficult,
but those with limited views
are fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
and clinging cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature),
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
for everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness
What benefit can be derived
from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the one way
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one dharma, truth, law, not many;
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek mind with the discriminating mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.
There are many beautiful things in this sutra. And for the seeker, not only beautiful but foundational and essential also - because Sosan is not a poet, he is a seer. Whatsoever he says carries the poetry of the infinite, but that is not to the point. Whenever an enlightened person speaks, whatsoever he speaks is poetry, and beautiful. Just the way he is, whatsoever comes out of him resounds, carries him, the fragrance. But that is not to the point. Don’t be lost in the poetry, because poetry belongs to the form and the truth is formless.
The way Sosan says things is beautiful and poetic, but remember, don’t be lost in his poetry. Don’t be lost in the poetry of the Upanishads, of the Gita, of the sayings of Jesus. In itself the form is beautiful but that is not to the point. Move into what the content is, not the container.
For the seeker the content is essential, and to understand the content is to become it - because there is no truth beyond understanding. In fact, understanding itself is the truth. To say that through understanding you will reach truth is wrong, because there is no truth apart from understanding.
Understanding is the very truth. You understand, you have become the truth. Truth is not somewhere waiting for you to happen; it is through your understanding that it will be revealed - revealed within you.
These instructions of Sosan are for the seeker, and every word is very, very meaningful.
To live in the great way
is neither easy nor difficult.
Whenever there is a goal it can be either easy or difficult. It depends where you are, how much distance between you and the goal, whether there is a highway or you have just to travel along a hilly track. Is the road mapped, marked, or do you have to find your own way?