The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 42
Ten Thousand Things
A small serene plaster Buddha adorns my neighbor’s porch
and its singular peace greeted my morning walk.
Siddhartha: calmly focused on one thing.
One thing only — how perfect!
But I lie: I don’t want to be a Buddha,
nor embrace any fantasy of a blissful One,
I want the ten thousand things.
All of them, fully!
Walking further I startled a naughty bush
harboring the unlikely miscegenation
of a robin and a sparrow
who quickly giggled off in flight
landing on an unattended gutter
boasting with flowering grasses.
A curious cat watched cautiously
as I refreshed my face in her lawn sprinkler.
Crows crassly cawed at each other
and a rabbit hopped off to hide in nearby shrubs.
The Ten Thousand things danced,
and while one is fine, many are better.
I wanted to follow them all — wallow in them all.
The world is far too rich to homogenize
and sanitize into a monotonous unity.
–by Sabio Lantz, July 2015
Prompt: Anthony at D’Verse Poets hosts Open Link
Notes for readers:
- The quote is from the Tao Te Ching: an ancient Chinese Taoist text. There, the interplay of Ying and Yang are said to account for the multitude of things in this world. And though some may idealize the Dao, I love those 10,000 things.
- “The Buddha” is a title (the Awakened One) given to Siddhartha Gautama, the supposed historical Buddha.
- Much of Western Buddhism has a “One Thing” spin to it — a New Age Monism. But many forms of Buddhism are anything but monistic. Also, some flavors of Christianity try to use their god to homogenize reality (see this post).