Tao of Internal Alchemy
Daily life – hard work sometimes, isn’t it?
Confusing, irritating, frustrating, frightening, overwhelming and demanding, sometimes, isn’t it?
Sometimes you want to get off.
Sometimes you’re so scared you want to die.
Sometimes you’re so torn with self-doubt you want to remove your own brain.
Sometimes you’re so overloaded you want to run away – but where to?
You know that won’t change anything.
You wish you could stop struggling with yourself.
You wish you could be more relaxed.
You wish you could be more of a master about it – be more cool more of the time.
But what if, instead of trying to change it, you stopped trying to change it?
What if you settled into it as it is, and accepted it – all the pain, all the strife, all the struggle, all the fear and all your apparent ineptness at managing it all with equanimity?
And what if you discovered, to your amazement, that by doing so, rather than congeal and transform into a potato-head, you actually attained the mastery that was eluding you?
Well, it could happen.
And here’s how you’d do it.
You’re pretending. I’m pretending. We’re all pretending here. We’re all in disguise.
You look one way but you feel another. You project an air of confidence, as best you can, yet you are feeling scared and insecure.
You kid yourself you have it all under control in there but inside your mind is racing like a trapped monkey scampering frantically in a cage.
You act all grown-up and responsible but within you are a playful child.
You like to think butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth but you’re carrying enough guilt to build a house with (which is precisely what you’ve done inside yourself).
You walk proud, yet inside you feel ashamed.
You smile bravely, yet inside you are quivering with sadness and fear.
You feign disinterest, yet inside you are yearning.
It’s all fake – mask upon mask upon mask.
You’re doing it.
I’m doing it.
We’re all doing it.
And it’s all right. This is how we play the game of life with ourselves and each other.
Whatever you’re showing hides a whole realm within of the exact opposite. And that realm hides another, the exact opposite to it, and so on. Layer upon layer of perspective after perspective.
However, behind all the masks and beneath all the layers, naked, beyond disguise, is the pure you. And that pure you is what some might call the Tao; others, God; others still, their higher self. But whatever you call it, it’s ineffable and mysterious, defying definition. However, whether you attempt in vain to define or formalize it in any way or not, whether your intellect gels with it as a notion or not, you know it – you’ve touched it and it’s touched you throughout your time here in the dream of life. It’s what’s been informing you, animating you and powering you on, every step of the way, from before the time you can consciously remember. It is you.