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Perceptions

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kanji

Everything exists according to its own nature. Our individual perceptions of worth, correctness, beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.

What a ridiculous foursome! A grossly fat man drowsing contentedly while leaning on a tiger. Tiger sleeping happily. Fat boys leaning on man and hence on tiger.

Shouldn't tigers be prowling pridefully, looking for prey? Shouldn't men be at work, setting good examples to youthful apprentices?

Or is that living according to our stereotypes? Where are such stereotypes? Are they not inside, not outside, our heads?

This tiger's nature is different, is it not? This tiger likes to snooze with his paws crossed peacefully, feeling the warm weight of soft human bodies. Is this in accord with his nature?

He seems to like this, so it must be. And it is the nature of his friends to enjoy his company in perfect trust. They have found a spot pleasing to them all, beside a quiet stream, protected by a steep bank. Here they recline, getting fatter and lazier and happier by the minute.

By "civilized" standards what worth do they have, what beauty of body or mind?

Yet do they not appear to have come to terms with themselves? Might we say the tiger of the desire to dominate is asleep in them, letting them relax? Notice the harmony written on their relaxed, faintly smiling faces. Are they all at one with their basic natures?

Each one of us—sage, tiger, man on the street—exists on other levels than the conscious one.

When you say, "It came to me that . . ." or "A thought just popped into my mind", where did these thoughts come from? Can you answer this question by saying, "From the same place that the directions for body growth and repair come from"?

That is to say, they come from our inner nature, that makes each one of us a unique person, with unique potentialities that often get fouled up by the attempted imposition of standards alien to that nature.