A Laissez-Faire State of Mind

Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another’s way of life–so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit! Hands off! Yet not to grow indifferent, or refuse aid when it is sincerely demanded. Living thus, practicing this way of life, strange things occurred; some might call them miraculous. And from the most unexpected quarters astonishing, most instructive lessons...

And all the while an obsessive desire was shaping itself, namely to lead the anonymous life. The significance of this urge I can explain simply–to eradicate the zealot and the preacher in myself. ‘Kill the Buddha!’ the Zen master is known to say occasionally. Kill the futile striving, is the thought. Do not put the Buddha (or the Christ) beyond, outside yourself. Recognize him in yourself. Be that which you are, completely.

Naturally, when one attains to this state of awareness, there is no need, no urge, to convert the other to one’s way of thinking. It is not even necessary, as Vivekananda once phrased it, to go about doing good. The unknown Buddhas, those who preceded Gautama, he asserted, made no stir in the world. They were content to shed the light which was in them. Their sole purpose in living was to live, to live each day as if life were a blessing and not an ordeal or a curse.
— from "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" by Henry Miller