Poetry: The Wooden Bowl

Wash a wooden bowl,
the grain remains behind.

That is, in purifying yourself, you can not change who you are.  You can not wipe away your fingerprints, nor can you wash off  a birth mark, and “That which is crooked can not be made straight.” (Ecclesiastes 1:15)  Just because something is irregular, strange, or even unseemly doesn’t mean it’s unnatural or unpure.  Indeed, the Chinese word for nature, “zi ran”, means “of-itself-so”.  That is, what arises spontaneously, or naturally, has an innature purity in that it was not contrived by the cleverness of the hand or the forge of the mind.  It surves no purpose other than its own nature.  That does not mean that you should learn to love the smell of poo just because it is natural, but it does mean that if you “follow your nose” as it were, and trusted your instincts that poo is a rotten mess that you have no business tangling with, then all things are better off in the long run.  The poo, as well, gets to serve its natural purpose.


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