Absorption (repost)

I am reposting this since I had to be reminded of it today. ;^) With much thanks to Martha P. for whacking me upside the head. Namaste!


Crimson light through pine shadows.
Setting sun settling in the ocean.
Night follows the setting sun.
Day follows the fleeing moon.

All too often, we tend to think of absorption as a static thing: Water is absorbed into a sponge, and there it stays. But true absorption is a total involvement in the evolution of life without hesitation or contradiction. In nature there is no alienation. Everything belongs.

Only human beings hold ourselves aloof from this process. We have our civilizations, our personal plans, our own petty emotions. We divorce ourselves from process, even as we yearn for love, companionship, understanding, and communion. We constantly defeat ourselves by questioning, asserting ourselves at the wrong times, or letting hatred and pride cloud our perceptions. Our alienation is self-generated.

In the meantime, all of nature continues its constant flow. We need to let ourselves go, enter freely into the process of nature, and become absorbed in it. If we integrate ourselves with that process, we will find success. Then the sequence of things will be as evident as the coming of the sun and the moon, and everything will be as it should be.

Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

I think humans fail to be absorbed in Tao because they are usually so self-absorbed. For me this was wanting for other people to see my viewpoint, instead of recognizing that theirs was just as valid. I tend to step outside myself more now, and see my viewpoint as if watching someone else, or a character in a story. Then I can see both sides of an issue, and the issue itself, and that it does not have “sides” at all, but is merely part of something larger, perhaps a part of shifting positions that have been in play for years or even decades.

It took me a long time to realize that everything is really about process. I was a software developer for years, and always had a process, and then watched as that process deteriorated and people stopped being trained as engineers. They would just hack things together instead of follwing the process of development. I went back into software QA and process management, trying to rebuild that process where I could. Now, I work on the process of my own life for a while and watch it in nature, in people, in all of life around me. I am fascinated watching the process of political change that is taking place in this country, one most people are unaware of. And so it brings me to Tao, because Tao is about process, and how things happen and how they change.

So, time to stop being alienated, and become absorbed. Not self-absorbed, but absorbed in nature and Tao. No need to feel alienated when you know you belong.