Hsin Shin Ming: “33. Just let things be in their own way as they are, and there is neither going nor staying.”
‘Let things be in their own way’ means ‘Don’t put labels on things’, or ‘Don’t discriminate things’. ‘There is neither going nor staying’ means that there are no relative concepts such as going and staying, or good and bad. So, this scripture implies, ‘If we don’t put labels on things, there are no relative concepts such as going and staying’.
For example, the moment we put the label ‘table’ on a thing, relative concepts related to it such as old, new, large, small, good, poor and so on never fail to follow it, because we think that, in order for a thing to be what the table represents, it should be equipped with certain conditions.
However, in fact the table neither says nor thinks that it is a table, that it is small or that it is old. It is a small, old table because we think so and put such labels on it. Before we put labels such as table, small and old on it, it is not a table, not small and not old. When we don’t put any labels on it, it has no identity, no merits and no demerits, and it is neutral. It is perfect as it is. It may look nice, poor, sometimes broken and imperfect, but it looks so not because it really is like that but because you think so. That is just the way it is. Therefore, if you let things be in their way, there is neither going nor staying.
Student: “How can I let things be in their own way as they are.”
Master: “Remove all the labels from them.”
Student: “How is it when there is neither going nor staying?”
Master: “Then oneness appears.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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