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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38: Adapting

Day 38
Heaven embaces the horizon.
No matter how jagged the profile
The sky faithfully conforms.
-Deng Ming-Dao

The sky faithfully conforms? Blah!

The sky does not adapt to the horizon, nor does the horizon adapt to the sky - there is no true conformation of either, but only the illusion created by man (city skyline) or nature (mountain or mesa) that makes it appear so.

When it comes to adaptation, it is quite obvious that humans have been pulling a rabbit out the hat for a very long time. So long, in fact, that we've begun to believe the magic trick is the truth. Without his "tools" man is prey to his environment. The concrete jungle is one of his own making and the only surrounding he feels safe in because it is here that he deems control. So, if adapting is as the author says "conforming", then we each need to decide what we're willing to conform to in society, culture, religion, politics, etc. versus adjusting - there is a difference.

Joseph Campbell writes, The person of noble heart acts spontaneously and will avoid the wasteland of the world of "Thou Shalt".

To those who feel the need to conform or adapt so that they won't be on the outside looking in are cowards. You can call it Tao or Torah, it doesn't matter. If adapting means giving up your truth for "Thou Shalt", then you've lost yourself along the way. There is no right Tao or wrong Tao, for there is no Tao. Taosism is adapting to the Tao, but what is the Tao other that that which it is not to be called the Tao. There is nothing in a name or title that cannot fall outside of it. Adjust to that point of view.

Deng Ming-Dao states, "being flexible and constantly adjusting to the times is one of the secrets of Tao."  Not everything that is adapting is Taoist. Just adapting doesn't mean you've seen the flow of life, the stillness in movement, for what it's worth, neither does adjusting. In our current world, survival is primary (adapting) and living is secondary (adjusting). There is a huge space between the two.

Adapting gets you through life.
Adjusting gets through a moment.
- Demori

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