Does beauty work? The Buddha’s “flower sermon” was wordlessly eloquent on this question. Jesus pointed to field lilies. “Notice,” he said, “how they don’t work.” From what is perhaps the greatest spiritual book ever written: “When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.” Epigraphically, “He worked hard” evokes a sense of limitation and sadness. Conscious doing and hard work? Call it the distance between here and Pluto.
If I do not desire anything and I am not afraid of anything, then the mind is quiet. Not asleep or chewing its cud, but alert, watchful and ready. Like a top-of-class majordomo.
We bridle our anger when we stop answering questions we haven’t been asked.
We are spittle factories. We talk too much. More words count less. We know that; we long for the gleaming economy of right speech. But first we must know that breaking Babel will be very difficult—harder than quitting cigarettes or weed, harder than losing weight, harder than anything we’ve ever done. We ought not to attempt it unless our goal is our God, before whom there are no other gods, the only and absolute focus of our deathless devotion.
There comes a time when doing nothing is the best and most curative course. The Chinese term for this is wu wei: action-less activity. Our word is consciousness: awareness without thought. At its purest and most distilled, doing nothing is a state of whole-heartedness, of resolute integrity.
Stones have sermons.