We had a great discussion on Sunday, maybe 12 people there. We began the chapter, “No Such Thing as a True Story,” which is of course about not clinging to anything, not our religious icons, or our religious stories. Not even Buddhism.
Of course we saw the application of this teaching to current politics. We talked about how limited our vision is, how much humans can’t see because we don’t have the equipment to hear the range of sounds a dog can, for instance, how we can’t see the fourth dimension, or neutrinos, and so on. We think we know things but we know only our small scope.
Pema puts it this way: In Taoism there’s a famous saying that goes, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the ultimate Tao.'”Another way you could say that, although I’ve never heard it translated this way, is, “As soon as you begin to believe in something, then you can no longer see anything else.'”The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.
Holding on to beliefs limits our experience of life, says Pema. If we look closely we can see how this is true. What’s happening is immediate, and without labels. Then we start in on that, adding what we know from that past, what we anticipate, what we think it is. Not bad, of course, but if we don’t see what we’re doing, we miss the aliveness of the moment.
See you next week,