Daily Tao / 225 – Prejudice

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No mother thinks her child ugly.
No one is indifferent to themselves.

We are all familiar with prejudice. It comes in many forms : nationalism, chauvinism, provincialism, racism. Many of us undoubtedly cry out against these injustices. As long as there is prejudice, we declare, we are never able to fairly know one another.

And yet, it is exactly a type of prejudice that also keeps us from knowing ourselves. If we think about it, we ourselves are the ones we most favor. We cater to all our bodily needs, our sensual indulgences, our intellectual curiosities, and our lustful ambitions. When we are sick or disadvantaged, no one feels our pain more or wails more loudly. When we are satisfied, no one rejoices with greater satisfaction. When we are on the verge of death, no one clings with such vehemence.

As long as we are slaves to our appetites, then we cannot have the attention for spirituality. As long as we value comfort over effort, then we shall never have the fortitude for a spiritual quest. As long as we adhere to intellectual ideas over experience, then we can never have a genuine perception of Tao. As long as we insist that we are separate, individual entities apart from the rest of the universe, then we shall never realize oneness.

No mother thinks her child ugly, because that child is her own creation. In the same way, we are inevitably partial to ourselves : We create ourselves. If we are to reach any sort of spiritual realization, we must confront and resolve this prejudice.