The Great Sculptor sees the beauty within the stone, the gorgeous shape he is undressing with his chip, chip, chipping. We see a craggy, moss-covered rock with irregular, indeterminate proportions; scars here, cracks there, jutting out here, knobbly bits there. We see not what is within but the Great Sculptor knows exactly what is within as we are released from what does not serve the inner beauty that we are.
We strive and gain. Life chips in and we lose. We fight back and we gain. Life quietly slips back and it never stops chip, chip, chipping.
Our wish is to drape our ugly rocks with gaudy colours – wealth, assets, partners, friends, experiences, qualifications, success – to prove we’re beautiful rocks.
Against our frantic activity, life is working to reveal the beauty within – not the beauty without – by its chip, chip, chipping. Every dollar we earn can be lost in a moment. Every relationship can die with a careless word. Every job can be lost in a senseless decision. Every cell can be damaged and health impaired by careless action or thought … or by no action or thought.
Nothing we have – absolutely nothing – cannot be lost in the toss of a coin. We build our buildings, create our empires, buff our bodies and grow our relationships and, while busy doing all that, the chip, chip, chipping continues.
None of these things are taken by accident or by malicious design. No, they’re taken by a kind and creative sculptor who knows your true shape, your true beingness and (s)he wishes only for you to see and know the Truth of who you are.
Yes, it feels like a heartless god who strips us of our loved ones, our wealth, our health and careers. We fight against this vindictive god, this life uncaring and where do our objections get us? They get us more loss, more stripping away, more chip, chip, chipping. It never stops.
However, we all know of people who have lost everything, who have driven over the rocky road of shock, disbelief, anger and depression to arrive at a still, silent lake of acceptance and gratitude.
When we can come to an acceptance of what is, a gratitude for the unknowable mystery, there is a cool waterfall of peace that washes all regret and resistance away. We can then stand naked of stuff, naked of meaning and naked of knowing … and knowing we have no need to know.
When our stunning nakedness is reflected from that deep lake of remembrance – remembrance of who we really are – there is a mirth that arises in our gut, our throat and in our mind. It never leaves us.
Like the Dalai Lama who was stripped of his homeland, we will arise with that c
and humour that effervesces and overflows to all around us.
Earnestness is the curse of our civilisation and is the greatest barrier to abiding peace. Nothing matters – not stuff, not relationships, not health, not ambition, not fame – and, when we dissolve earnestness into mirth, better stuff, relationships, health and achievements return without effort.
The Great Sculptor knows this better than anyone else.