Human life is the ultimate, and yet it often doesn’t feel like it! Our time here is a challenge to find the meaning of life. To Taoists, it is what it is, and to become a “real human” means to open up to that truth and to have nothing to be ashamed of before Heaven and Earth. We are their offspring after all, and eventually we will merge with them both. For now, as humans, living a human life, we have only the opportunity to emulate our eternal parents. Originally there was no desire within us, there was a pureness to our beings, return to that self and you will become a real human.
We are all given one body with which to make our journey back to our celestial parents, within that body there is a “real human” somewhere. The real human within us communes with Heaven and Earth and the clarity and calm therein is free from the accumulations foisted upon us. It exists now as it always has, a beautiful and delightful entity. Like a poor man winning the lottery, if you could just realize this fact, you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams.
The great Confucian sage, Mencius once said, “The difference between animals and humans is slight; common people obliterate it, superior people maintain it. Those that maintain it become sages; those that obliterate it become beasts.” They become beasts in this life.
Humans would be well advised to harmonize with the five elements of nature: metal, water, wood, fire and earth. In our bodies, these elements are manifest in the five yin organs, the lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and spleen. These are the main organs that support our life in this realm, if these become damaged, our body cannot sustain life. Taking care of our bodies is essential to provide for that spiritual embryo we all carry within.
Other influences include: the relationship between the government and the people, between parents and children, between husband and wife, between younger and older siblings and between friends. These “five norms” lay out a path of success for people. We need to be in harmony with our relationships as well, to be “real humans.” Sometimes we need to let go of certain relationships to be in harmony with them!
Finding harmony within our bodies and our relationships with others is part of following the Way. Taking away the causes of physical and emotional turmoil in our lives or finding the ability to adapt to them allows us to live long enough so that we may someday unlock the “real human” within. The only thing we have of any value is the real human within, don’t destroy it before you reach realization. Our physical life just here in our bodies is not the end all; the real human is our ultimate attainment. Live as though you are pregnant, and nurture your spiritual embryo.