There’s a nice quote by Sun Tzu in the movie Ghost Dog (by Jim Jarmusch, 1999) that I often think of:
“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”
It makes me think of all of us, how there’s this One Thing we have to do… and yet have become very skillful at avoiding. So we run here and there, we pretend not to notice, we distract ourselves, over and over again. If we were resolved from the beginning to Take The Hit, then we could enjoy every minute for the rest of our lives.
What’s the rainstorm, that One Thing we have to face? We have to be ready to look into our own emptiness.
We avoid it, I think, because we don’t know what we’ll find there…. Imagining the worst – thinking we might find out that we are truly awful, a monster or a serial killer – we prefer not to gaze into it. But what if it wasn’t that way at all? What if this enormous fear of ours was as unfounded as the fear of getting wet in a rainstorm?
What if you found out that the Best Part of You was hidden in that emptiness?
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” –Joseph Campbell