repairing the soul


When a pot is broken, repair it and you can use it to cook as before. When a jar leaks, fix it and you can use it to hold water as before.

When people are first born, their three treasures — vitality, energy, and spirit — are a solid whole. Then when the cognitive consciousness opens up, these treasures leak out through the senses. They are infected by the germs of emotionalized action, playthings of parasites. Their sense experiences wear them down, their attraction to stimulation deludes their natures; greed, anger, folly, and attachment drain them of reality.

Chipped away by day and by night, the three treasures dwindle away; the whole body is sick, inwardly and outwardly spoiled. The original complete treasure has been made into a rotten, worthless object — just like a broken pot or a leaking jar, it is a useless vessel.

If you are like this but become aware enough to take a serious look at yourself and change your attitude, disregard everything except the restoration of your birthright, the most important thing there is for anyone, the matter of essential life; act on this in a genuinely real manner, one by one sweeping away everything acquired, withdrawing your aura, holding your thoughts fast, eliminating the aberrant and supporting the true, increasing daily in accomplishment while diminishing for the Way.

Increase what is to be increased, diminish what is to be diminished, until you reach the point where there is nothing more to be increased and nothing more to be diminished. Then you will naturally not leak vitally, so your vitality will be whole; you will naturally not waste energy, so your energy will be whole; you will not belabor your spirit, so your spirit will be whole. What you have lost, you will regain; what was ruined will be recreated.

Then you will be what you were before: something whole and complete, just as a broken pot that has been repaired is again a fine pot, and a leaking jar that has been repaired is again a fine jar.

Nevertheless, people who are broken and leaking themselves are not aware of their misery. They take the false to be real, chopping away at their very lives day and night, breaking themselves down until the day when the pillars rot and the walls crumble, and they have nowhere to rest.


Liu I-Ming