Horses have hooves that enable them to walk on snow and ice. They have hair that protects them from the wind and cold. They eat grass, drink water, swing their tails, and gallop around. Such is the true nature of horses, but none of these is useful during a parade or in a fine hall.
A famous horse trainer named Polo showed up and declared, “I am very successful at managing horses.” He clipped their hair then pulled out and cauterized their hooves. He put halters around their necks, chains on their feet, and shut them up in barns. As a result, three out of ten horses died. Next, he left them hungry and thirsty. He then trained them to trot and gallop in an orderly fashion. The horses learned out of the fear of pain from the girdles in their mouths and the whips on their backs. In the meantime, more than half of them died.
Nevertheless, throughout the ages, much praise was written about Polo’s ability to train horses.
-Chuang Tzu
When light begins to shine, darkness also brightens. I start to realize that darkness arises from my ignorance. When I let the darkness created by my fears dissolve, I see there is nothing left behind from what I call “I.” What I call “I” is nothing more than my own definitions. The disappearance of my definitions does not mean the real me also disappears, but rather just the definition of what I call “me.” When this definition is eliminated, I start to realize that the remaining space is light, and that light is me. This light is everything. The illusion that I am a separate “thing” dissolves. I am a light with no beginning or end.
While my definition disappears, I realize my fears, anxieties, and excessive desires disappear as well. I act, but I do not do. I understand doing without acting. I understand that I am one with everything, but I am not dependent on things. This state of unity is different from the dualistic reality I created through my definitions. There is no definition inside, which makes it impossible to make new definitions.
I continue to follow the light. The mind or intelligence in the light indicates to me that the basis of what I call matter is light. This is a state of knowing. The spreading awareness gets to know itself. All existence comes from nonexistence, and forms are children of the amorphous. After light creates intangible forms, tangible ones come to life in the realm of existence as projections of the forms created by the light. This creates the material world. The egg exists first, and the hen comes afterwards.
Light in itself separates into two main polarities, creative darkness (space) and creative light (brightness). All beings come into existence through the balance created by these two opposing forces in the cosmic dance. Once this balance is disturbed, heaven and earth begin to change places.
The sky should be above with its movement from top to bottom. Likewise, the earth must be below with a movement from bottom to top. The natural balance of light and dark space forms this way. If you took the roots of a tree out of the soil, it would not survive. The tree’s nature requires its roots to be in the soil and its branches to reach up to the sky. In the field of existence, when everything is in balance, the earth and sky stay in their proper places. When this occurs, everything from human health to politics happily and harmoniously follows the path of what is sacred.
When light separates itself into its opposing poles, I continue watching the essence of light. Light forms matter, so I realize what I call matter is just condensed light. I continue to watch the light as a neutral observer. Light, as I observe it, continues to tell me about itself. I see that the condensed light consists of different lights, because the nature of light is to condense itself to form matter. Each of these lights come together to create the nature of things. When I continue to observe the different lights, I know these lights are grace. At that time, I understand myself and everything else that exists is nothing but grace showing itself as light. Matter is concentrated grace. The basic building block is grace. The Big Bang was a transformation of light that showed itself as grace. When grace is condensed, it forms matter, and when matter is dissolved, it returns to grace.
When heaven and earth are in harmony within me, I realize grace becoming stronger. When grace strengthens, I know that my consciousness, which is the expression of light, grows stronger also. I see that my efforts to be healthy and happy cannot work without the binding and adhesive aspects of grace. I come face to face with the fact that I will pass through the illusion of what I call death with grace. Even the bridge extending to infinity is my grace. Grace is the underlying meaning and the basic building block of life.
As I continue watching, I realize that even what I call my body is made from grace. Grace, in order to create my body, concentrates at different levels of light, and forms my organs, my glands, and my consciousness. As grace increases, my consciousness, my glands, my organs, my social relationships, and my communication with the universe become healthy and harmonious as well. Fears then turn into delightful experiences.
Grace is a blissful state. It is not meant to be something or a means to get something. Grace is not a state of acquiring things! This state is the true expression of my nature. When I’m in my natural state of being, grace expresses itself. At the same time, when I increase my grace, my true nature also reflects. My true nature is fearless, happy, wise, and pleasant. Possessions are artificial substitutes for my true nature, and they distract me from being a “real person.” They turn me toward a dark dream, to ignorance. On the other hand, to be myself allows me to be a “real person” as an expression of my true nature.
Disrupting the balance between earth and sky is what stops me from being myself and expressing my true nature.
But, what is this balance between earth and sky?