My previous post was a rather thick collection of associated ideas. One of the threads questioned the common feeling that the source of something is inherently superior to the evolved growth that flows from it. That is to say that things evolve and refine, and as such best the root, yet we still place greater value on the origin that we do on the evolved refinement. Bruce Lee pointed out this concept in, “Enter the Dragon.”
“It is like a finger pointing a way to the Moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
He is saying, do not look at the one that points the way. Look where they point. It seems to be part of the human condition to attach ourselves to the pointing finger and take our eyes off of the heavenly glory. We feel if we stop looking at the pointer we may miss out on something else they want us to see. But in focusing on them, we miss everything they want us to absorb.
If we stay with the source, looking in the direction they indicate, no growth can take place. We remain where we are, the goal only to be viewed and never achieved. The attainment of what they are pointing at feels impossible. However, we must try, rightly or wrongly, leaving the source behind, and in so doing we feel as if we are severing ourselves from the origin. To many folk, cutting that tether seems like heresy, though we are not actually cutting the line, we are following it. We leave the source behind us, with full knowledge of that source, grasping what they have given us and moving forwards.
Along the way we may encounter unforseen obstacles or advantageous avenues. For some reason, both seem to make us stop and look back toward the origin. If we encounter a barrier, many of us turn back toward the source, as if to say, “What do we do now?” If our attempts prove positive, at times we feel we stray too far afield, and again we look back. But looking back is to look at the finger and lose sight of the goal. It may be appropriate to check back with the source to make sure we are on the path that was indicated, but we should not return to the source. All that is needed is a glance back, with a quick return to the path we were on, as we try to find a way around, over, or through the maze that lays ahead. After all, the source did not say the path would be easy, just that it was in this direction.
It is not an easy task to take a source’s guidance, make it your own and run with it, willfully leaving the origin behind. It takes guts to feel that you have the right to add what you believe to be a refinement, and raw courage to embrace your contribution, be it correct or erroneous. Likewise, it takes courage to recognize that your addition is in error, to admit it and abandon it while continuing to move forward and further from the source. I value the person that adds their refinements, the person that keeps their eyes on the heavenly glory. It is appropriate to honor origins and the ways they point. But the best honor you can give them is to head in the direction that they point, and that will always be forward and away from them.