I love the old chap that I look after. But when he starts talking about immigration, I have to bite my tongue, and do my best to be tolerant. I began to reflect on the issue from a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, and I want to share the results with you.
People’s intolerance of immigrants ultimately stems from selfishness and delusion, which is the cause of all suffering. Being born in a particular place, we begin to identify with it, and trick ourselves into thinking we own it, just because we happened to be conceived here. We get territorial, like a bunch of sparrows, squabbling over the best spot in a hedgerow.
How very far removed this is from the beliefs of our aboriginal ancestors, who saw the land as their mother. The land was not something that belonged to them – it was something to which they belonged. They were the land; the land was them; there was no distinction between identity and environment – both were perfectly merged in a harmonious outpouring of consciousness.
So, to those self-righteous (and selfish) nationalists, let me just say this:
YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR COUNTRY
YOU DO NOT EVEN OWN YOUR PLANET
THIS IS WORLD IS JUST SOMEWHERE WE LODGE
UNTIL WE ROT INTO SOMETHING ELSE
Everything about our being is temporary. How could we be said to own something which will inevitably outlast us – isn’t that just the most ignorant of errors? Even the trees in your garden will outlive you. We have no more permanence than a fire that will burn out once the fuel is used up.
The only thing we could even minorly be said to own is our experience – our immortal consciousness. But our consciousness is only infinite because it is part of The Tao – everything we claim to have, we borrow on loan from it. Even our experiences are just a tiny blot in the unimaginably vast ocean of infinite being – so who would isolate a single water molecule in an ocean and claim that is us? Even that is vain clutching.
WE DO NOT OWN ANYTHING
NOT EVEN WHAT WE MISTAKENLY TO BE OURSELVES
But we are everything. So, if there is one thing that you cling to, cling to that – cling to that recognition of everything as being an endless expression of your infinite being.
And, for the Love of God – start being good to yourself.