The Text of the Month No 8

By Jos Slabbert

Do you understand?

The empty, delusory body is the very body of the Dharma.
When the Dharma body awakens completely,
There is nothing at all.

(Shodoka)

Explanation and comment

It is astounding. Science has been dedicated to finding, categorizing and analyzing matter. We have acquired vast data bases of knowledge. And now this text is trying to tell us that at the end of all this furtive search for true insight, there is "nothing at all".

Of course, this text is talking about a different kind of "awakening" than just intellectual realization following intense research or intellectual activities.

It is talking about a spiritual experience which lies beyond science. When we become aware of the true nature of our self, we realize that we are in fact "empty", that there is nothing permanent in us. We, too, are a brief manifestation of energy, which takes shape and disappears, like a wave in the ocean rising and falling to disappear into the endless ocean. There is nothing to cling to. Clinging to permanence is holding on to an illusion.

To follow the Tao is to accept the perpetual movement and change of which we are an integral part.

In the light of this passage, a bloated ego becomes particularly absurd.

Living only for yourself is dedicating your life totally to an illusion.