We All Deserve Better

“You must will the liberation of all beings; you cannot handle attainment with a careless or arrogant attitude.”

– opening of chapter VI of Cleary’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower

The above sentence got me thinking in my meditations. This has been a thread through Taoism for ages, that liberation comes with wanting to share it, fitting the tale of it’s creation (the story is some Taoists channeled it from Lu Dong-bin). It echoes with some of the fusion Buddhist sentiments from the time it was published. What is the role of wishing the best for others in the attainment (of the Tao, Enlightenment, etc.)?

So, simply, I started thinking about it, and it’s one of those moments where a few simple thoughts opens your mind. So of course I share it.

I realized how better the world would be, how happier people would be if they were more “practically” enlightened. If people were driven to be better, to be happier. It wasn’t just willing the liberation of others, it was hoping they’d seek to be happier that way.

I realized how hoping the best for others improved my own actions and meditation. I realized maybe I could help others in my practice, but also that they were fellow travelers on a journey. I wasn’t above them, or behind them, or whatever – we on the same path and it was best to do it together.

Finally I realized how people deserved better. Yes, even the assholes.

Call it Samsara or the mundane mind or whatever. Life didn’t come with a user manuals so between sages and gods and philosophers we’ve tried to figure it all the hell out. A lot of us yes, even the worst of us, could be better, could have been better. But we’re all here just trying vaguely to figure it out. So many of us would be better if we had a better idea of just what the hell we were doing.

We don’t have a full roadmap. We deserve better. We don’t deserve to suffer, and we don’t deserve to be assholes who cause suffering. This doesn’t mean I spare the assholes per se, but I can at least know things could have been better.

I’d like us to have better and we deserve it. Even when it’s time to slap some assholes down, it can be with some regret that it happened.

It really is best when the journey to self-improvement of whatever kind isn’t alone. It takes down your boundaries and your ego, and opens you up to others – and maybe to the you you want to be.

Amazing one a few sentences can do, can’t it?

You deserve better.

– Xenofact