Sincerity’s hallmark characteristic is that it can only express itself in the simplest possible terms. Thus, the most potent prayer I can pray is a single syllable. “More words count less,” said Lao Tzu.
“I can of my own self do nothing.” I am just coming to see how deep this truth goes. I was shredding my 2015 diary yesterday and came across this jotting: “Change nothing. Do nothing. All that is required of you, He performs.” It was in my hand, but I didn’t write it. Maybe Joel Goldsmith was briefly running things. Truth is, we do not know why we do what we do. An inner power acts; we think we’re doing something. “I did it!” we say. Or, expanding on the delusion, “High five!” Or shrivel up like a dried blueberry, as I did on a call-in show back in the day when no one called in. Are we actors? Plainly, no. We are the acted upon, the done-through. “Do you know how to do nothing?” asked Lao Tzu, pointing to the one thing we can be sure of: It’s all a mystery, top to bottom.
Our guru is none other than Life itself. We can trust her. Completely.
They still come around, unnoticed and low-shouldered, the quiet ones so devoted to truth that they moulted their opinions. Lao Tzu: “Those who speak do not know. Those who know do not speak.”
Having a body can be compared to riding a dumb animal—a donkey, for example, as Jesus and Lao Tzu famously did, and as legions of the nameless have done. The spiritual significance of this is fairly obvious: I am not my ass.