By Lee Glazier
It’s good to be simple, man. Not like, ya know, stupid—just simple.
The Taoists have this thing called the uncarved block. That’s basically the mind when it’s free of all the BS we carry around in it. When we carve the block into something, whether it be a Buddha, a Dude, a what-have-you, it loses its original Dudeness and it is more susceptible to hardship. It’s easy to break a little wooden figurine with a mallet; it’s harder to break a solid wood block with one.
If we wanted to, we could call something like Buddha-nature (or Dude-nature) Original Simplicity, Dudes. It’s our potential to be, uh, not complex. The more intricate something is, the easier it is to fuck it up. When something has a lot of moving parts it’s more likely to break down.
I love feeling simple, when I can just sit and watch the sun move across the driveway without thinking of anything in particular—without trying to be anyone in particular, ya know? I’m just an observer, a silent witness, man. A conscientious objector to all the dramas we tend to craft for ourselves.
I like the sound my shoes make on gravel roads, and the way the bean fields shine gold when the sun first comes up. And bananas are good, too. This doesn’t make me the life of the party, but it makes life into kind of a party. Not like a rave or anything, more like a get together with close friends around a campfire.
Nah, this ain’t nirvana. It’s just samsara lite. But, ya know, that’s fine with me.
I don’t have the fire-under-my-ass determination to practice Buddhism, and I don’t dig gurus enough to practice Advaita. And Taoism is heaped with foo-foo mysticism. So, I just try to chill out, and be simple. There is one cool thing that’s a little mind-blowing though: the whole universe is an uncarved block. Nothing actually changes.
Sure, everything’s constantly changing, but that’s only one side of it. It’s like this: I drink a glass of water, and then that water’s gone, right? It’s impermanent. Nope. Yeah, it’s gonna be absorbed by my cells and turned into various bodily fluids. I’m gonna pee some of it out—not on anyone’s rug though—and sweat out some more. But not one particle of that water has been destroyed. Everything that it was still is, even after I drink it.
I’m gonna die someday, Dudes.
It’s heavy shit, but it’s gonna happen. But everything that I am isn’t just gonna fall into a void, ya know? It’s all staying right here. I came from the environment, I’m sustained by it, and then I’m gonna spread back out into it and become new things. Even right now I’m 100% matter, so what the fuck do I have to worry about? It’s like that one meme says, we’re basically cucumbers with anxiety.
I’m part of everything, we all are Dudes—with everything we take in and expel from our bodies. And everything we are has been around since the Big Bang, man. So, what’s there to really worry about? We can be simple, because we are simple. We can choose, ya know, where we put our identity. We can identify as the intricate clay figurine or as the clay itself.
Either one’s fine, but life’s a lot more stressful as a figurine.
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?”
Editor: Dana Gornall