Change means life. There is nothing static. Movement is ongoing. Our emotional and mental suffering is related with our inability to let things go on or because we cling into something made up by our minds which is not “here” yet. These are desires.
For someone who is not aware, changes will tend to degenerate, that is “entropy” is the default when there is no awareness. This could be explained simply by looking at a nail after several years, rust will be building up. The former shiny nail will lose its color.
This “rust” is what religions and moral teachings have identified as “vices.” Therefore, well-known religions and moral teachings are all about cleaning that rust by “doing” something.
Some religions will apply sandpaper over the nail. The nail will have to go through lots of friction and discomfort to get the rust out… however, sand paper is not the “solution” to maintain the nail clean from vices, but just a temporary method, for if sandpaper is not applied to that nail on a regular basis, then more rust will appear.
This creates a “dependency” of the nail for sandpaper. Notice that everything here goes at the physical level.
For example, If I realize that sex lust is “bad,” then I should not look at a woman. Then, I should think that a woman is my mother or my sister, so the desire will go away. “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” 🙂
This is sandpaper. That is, to identify something which is “wrong” with me and to do something to get that out of my system.
As long as there is sandpaper, then I should be “clean,” if I “do” a good job. 🙂
There are other religions or philosophies which proclaim that “everything is what I should be,” and I do not need to “do” anything to change. I am perfect already, but I do not realize it. 🙂
Many have misinterpreted this religious/moral teaching as to “do what is natural.” Thus, Anger is natural, lust is natural, greed is natural, etc. When there is this huge misinterpretation, there is more rust accumulated in the nail.
Zen Buddhism and Taoism have been misinterpreted in this way. For many is about sitting for meditation looking at the wall and performing some devotional rituals and nothing else after that except to think about a “koan,” to dissolve the mind. Here, there is no striving to be “better” for there is nothing to improve.
The problem is that there is no inner observation of what “is.” That comes with awareness and dear reader, awareness cannot be taught, it happens, by itself when we are continuously observing ourselves and by being in contact with Nature to be nurtured by it. Nature is subtle and that subtlety needs to be ingested by a person who is only aware of the physical realm.
When looking at the moon on a windy night, being mesmerized by the beauty of the moment, when appreciation appears, when the heart spontaneously awakens with love, in that moment there is a connection, there is a “something” that is perceived in the air, the setting. That something is subtle and it comes as spiritual nourishment by itself as long as our mind is in that tranquil state of appreciation.
That nourishment changes individuals. The only task is to be aware enough to perceive it. To be open to it.
Then we can see that the utility of sandpaper is just to get us to that point.
Then, magically; the nail is covered by anti-corrosive paint, as long as we could experience that subtle nourishing energy which is everywhere as long as we are aware of it.
The effect is the feeling of gratefulness and peace. When that peace manifest in movement, there is harmony.
This is the “natural” state. Once we know this state by experiencing it, then there is no need to do anything to avoid rust on the nail. Then, we can “do” what is natural, not before.
Therefore, the task is just to be aware. To “gain” awareness after our many years of lethargic sleep.
The sleeping beauty wakes up when the kiss of awareness of the prince, touches her heart.