Self-identity and otherness, holding ego and caring for others, self-actualization and others’ happiness.
These are my concerns these days.
To say it more simply, “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose in life?” I thought this was clear, but it wasn’t. Actually, I thought I knew this and was carrying it out, but this made me blind.
I thought I didn’t have to listen to someone who didn’t listen to me. Like someone who asked me questions and then ignored my answers and kept talking about themselves, or cut in when I spoke. I thought they didn’t want to listen to me, so the conversation was over. I was like this my whole life.
However, my teacher recently showed me that this comes from my “victim mind.”
I was so surprised that I had the mind of a victim! But at the same time it so smoothly fit in my heart that the cause of my anger came from having a victim mind.
That victim mind made me think, “If you don’t listen to me, then I don’t listen to you,” and “I have the right to not listen to you because of your actions.” Then I would explode in anger and end the communication.
This is the typical flow of the “victim mind” to the “justice mind,” then “explode in anger,” with the excuse of “I have the right to do this.”
I remorse here for everyone who experienced my anger. I deeply apologize, I’m sorry.
My teacher also told me that the victim mind usually comes from irresponsibility, but actually those are both sides of the same coin.
Tao Sangha’s teaching is that consciousness creates Ki (energy), and this Ki creates and appears as phenomena, or the material world, and this is actually the law of the universe.
The basic teaching of Tao Sangha is “take responsibility for your life,” which means “take responsibility for your consciousness”; whatever is in your consciousness appears in front of you as the field, as the world, and in your life.
I thought I was taking responsibility for my life, but actually I wasn’t. It’s a typical pitfall for many people. We think “I’m doing it.” I knew this was an easy pitfall to land in, but I couldn’t see when I was in that hole.
I’m sorry to share this disgraceful story and my cheap excuses, but I want this story to help you to not get caught in this pitfall.
Back to the main topic, “On the Thin Line.”
In a Buddhist sutra there’s a story called “The White Path Between Two Rivers.” In the story, there’s a narrow path, about four or five inches wide, that goes east to west. At the north end of the path a river is roughly flowing, and at the south end of the path a river of fire is burning. You are on the east side of the path, looking back, and many thieves and evil beasts are heading toward you.
This simple story has a lot of metaphors in it. It’s usually explained that Pure Land is on the west side of the path, and you are on the east side of the path where swirling rivers of greed and the burning fire of anger, on both sides of your path, prevent you from crossing.
“The White Path Between Two Rivers” comes to mind when I think about self-identity and otherness, holding ego and caring for others, self-actualization and others’ happiness, and other things like that. But there is something missing.
I heard a story a long time ago that people have a hole in their heart, and the hole is so painful that people fill it in and cover it up. But there’s a view that says you can see the world through that hole.
Somehow, this story, which had stayed deep inside me, came up recently. I think seeing the world through this painful hole in my heart is a very important key to walking the thin white path.
It’s there to remind me of my mission, the pain of others, my determination and responsibilities, and love and joy as well!
The greatest joy for human beings is when they become able to do something they couldn’t do before.
One meaning of the west side in the story of “The White Path Between Two Rivers” is that it represents the future: the future you wish for, that you dream of — what you want the world to be.
Would you like to walk on the white path? There is joy and treasure on the other side!