What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?¹
So, am I my own teacher and my own work?
My bad man likes the dark. My good man goes on and on about the light.
My bad man craves reassurance and gratification. He takes the short view of things. He says things like – I am made of mud, and I like it.
My good man says – I am not other than you; I am not other than eternity.
Good to Bad: You lack discipline.
Bad to Good: You lack evidence.
Good to Bad: You are imprisoned.
Bad to Good: Where would you be without me?
My bad man says, Better to be authentic mud than half-assed light.
Good man says, No effort on the path is ever wasted.
I know these walls; they’re simple and they stay where I put them,
…but they are walls.
I’m working on this post at a coffee shop in town, and I’m listening to a song about a girl who has Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes. And I’m thinking – Does any of this matter? You go your way, I’ll go mine and good luck to you.
She makes the sign of a teaspoon/ He makes the sign of a wave…
We just miss sometimes,
…or think we do.
My perceptual apparatus picks up a stimulus. A reaction begins that I know will take shape as lizard-brain fun.
Have you ever noticed how the same stories play out again and again?
This time I catch the reaction and pull the senses back – disrupt the pattern. Consciousness makes a subtle shift. I have a momentary experience that I call beauty that I could call freedom.
Is this the bad man finding his discipline and the good man offering his proof?
Frontiers, borderlands – they’re interesting places. Places where languages meld. Places where light and darkness turn.
If I approach quietly, I may have a chance.
¹Tao Te Ching
Steven Mitchell (trans.) 1988