Many people try to control their thinking. First, they try to solve their thinking. They try to make bad thinking correct. They try to make themselves right. That’s usually the first course. The meaning is – “if I can justify my thinking, I can justify my life.” But after many attempts, they find it doesn’t work. So the second course is to blame your friends. But soon you understand that it also doesn’t work. You are very unhappy. If you keep that condition, then very soon you have no friends. Why? Because with this condition, only you are the best. That means strong only “I am.” Then if you keep this “I am”, you and this world become separate. It means that you become crazy. Crazy people have no idea, only “my action.”
But somebody understands –“I cannot fix my thinking by my rationalization.” Then they also understand –“I cannot fix my life only by blaming other beings.” Separating ourselves from this world has many ways, not only by becoming crazy. Good movies, good friends, good books, with many kinds of things, we’ve already separated ourselves from this world. Those things are not good or bad by themselves. If we use those things only for ourselves, then we separate ourselves from this world. But if we don’t use those things only for “me” then we become in harmony with this world. That means attaining your correct relationship to your things.
“Separate from this world” means become empty. Human beings’ “empty” is –you and this world are separate. Buddha’s “empty” means –empty is not empty, empty is clear. In this, clear has everything. It has you, me, God, Buddha, dog, cat, tree, man, woman, good, bad, like, and dislike, because everything is clear. Then how do you use these things? That’s important.
–Zen Master Su Bong