Friday, August 2, 2013

Tao #11 : Usefulness

"We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,

but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,

but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with material,

but emptiness is what we use."

Once a pair of young missionaries drew me a diagram depicting a chasm, saying that my soul was on one side and God was on the other, and that accepting their religion was the only thing that would get me across that chasm. In that moment, I intuited that such a problem could not exist, for I had no soul, only emptiness inside. This idea filled me with a sense of lightness and freedom. I thanked them.

Emptiness is often portrayed as a negative thing. Feeling empty inside is supposed to be depressing. The emptiness of modern life, too. But emptiness is freedom. If we don't enjoy it, it is our fault for not using it.

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