A complete human being is not a model created by Confucius, by Lao-Tzu, or by any religion or culture.
The meaning of “being complete” or completeness is our own true Self, whom we should understand. When that human being loves, hates, or is disappointed, happy, or sad, we should know the roots of all of these.
Practicing the Way is not transforming ourselves to become a model, but learning to know about ourselves.
A model cannot adapt to all situations, but only to one. A model of Confucianism is different from the one of Taoism. A model of one religion is different from another. A model of the American society is different from one of Vietnamese society or African society, and so forth.
People of a society, a religion, and a culture should know themselves well enough and understand themselves clearly enough that they can adjust to the circumstances that were chosen for them or in which they themselves have chosen to live or serve.
A person who can be in any situation must rise above all prejudices by individuals, societies, doctrines, and dogmas to understand and serve others in all circumstances without discrimination among religions, colors, races, or countries. That person must also rise beyond all prejudices and biases to be free of any string that binds him and others to a framework.
To help others, we should understand them and know what they need, and why they have such a need. Thus our work can be more receptive to others’ needs.
People’s physical and spiritual needs fluctuate with the circumstances. We need to understand their changes under such circumstances, so that we can help and love them. Of all creatures, man is the most difficult to understand, the most complicated, and the most changeable. Therefore, it is hard to assess the changes. A kind person could be a cold-hearted murderer, while a wicked person could be the most moral and kindest one. Everything comes from the innate accumulation of karmic effects through one’s previous existences; suddenly the real character wakes up and strikes back,while the mind cannot control it.
A religious practitioner who meditates and trains his mind does wish not to become a wholesome model, but to know his core and the cause of sudden changes. To know ourselves is to live with the “True Existing Self,” not with the “Superficial Model.” In other words, to live like a model is living for others, for their praise and respect, but not living for ourselves.
By living with the “True Self” we will learn about the marvels of life. We can enjoy what we really want to enjoy. We will not suppress what we want to expose, nor conceal our defaults and imperfections, but reveal them in a relaxed manner.
Then we can feel the sense of happiness, no matter how simple it is, in every moment of life.