Monday, October 6, 2014

Reflections on the Tao - The Still Point

When there is no more separation between 'this' and 'that,' it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things.   ~ Chuang Tzu

   In my last post, I talked about centering yourself in Nature. I thought this quotation from Chuang Tzu was a perfect follow up.

   This concept, of finding the still point, is at the core of Taoist teaching.  As I understand the idea, it is striving to not differentiate.

    It is not 'me' or 'you', it is simply 'us'.  It is not 'photographer' and 'photographed', it is a single relationship. Ultimately, it is the ability to live with the both/and instead of the either/or, as Fr. Richard Rohr says.

   I will admit, it is not an easy concept to wrap your mind around.  It is the ultimate non-dualist I strive daily to aspire to and, if I am totally honest, seldom achieve.  Yet, somehow, I feel that it is the center of what it means to be a contemplative photographer...finding that still point and making your images from that viewpoint.

   This quote by Carl Jung talks about how the achieving of the still point places one inside the whole of Nature.  From that still point, we can perceive the eternal of all things.  Now that is a goal, in my opinion, that is worth striving for.

"At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons."
~ C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Ch. 8


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