Mark Twain once wrote, "The common eye sees only the outside of things and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and soul." What an eloquent way of describing our general dilemma as people... To be real or a imitation of realness; that is the question which will be revealed through our actions.
There are those who spend a lot of time on the surface of things. People that hang out in the unexamined, superficialities of experience. They might even glimpse beneath the surface, but surely don't hang out there to develop intimacy.
One of the problems with staying in surface mode, and not experiencing one's moment... one's life... one's inherent nature as Buddha, Universal Identity of Loving Presence is that to have no depth is to be delusional. To be caught by illusions is to not experience the world as it is, but as we imagine to be, by the wrapper. We can cause phenomenal harm that way.
One clear sign as a civilization that it's quite obviously not working out from living on the surface is we have weapons 10 times more lethal than in Mark Twain's time. This is a sad fact.
We're more apt to use weapons or resort to violence than seriously take the time to improve our communication skills. We’re more likely to strike out rather than to find ways to love each other with greater compassion. Disconnection tends to be the go-to for human-beings. Dogs and cats are more civilized. We could learn from them.
Beyond this we have would could be described as "Societal warfare," that gets in the way of what matters most... unity. When it comes to meaningful and thorough resolution of challenges related to healthy community cultivation: healthcare, poverty connected to housing, food, education... Equality such as Women's rights, voting rights, and the rights of marginalized communities... Sustainability of the Earth vis-à-vis climate change, in the words of Greta Thunberg; "Blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah."
We allow people and connected issues to simply languish in sustained suffering. Quality of life isn't getting better, it's getting worse through stratification of our society. This is evidenced by pervasive tribalism. More evidence of this is that depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide and homicide rates continue to increase rather than decrease. I'm puzzled personally about identifying ourselves as an "Advanced," society; when we in point of fact, don't meaningfully resolve none of our authentic problems after more than 6,000 years of civilization.
Zen is about looking so-called "Inside," the wrapper... using the "Uncommon," eye, consciously in contact with that which is... beyond the superficial, manifesting compassion and kindness; clearly, decisively, directly, and with completeness rooted in wholesome caring. And if we don't runaway from Reality we experience infinite heart-force... soul-force... that animates not only ourselves but everyone and every thing that we encounter. The side-effect is we have a real choice in how we're going to live... like a bumpkin or Buddha.
We tend to know one’s choices based on results. The meditation hall of humanity will be able to tell by how we behave in its dojo. The actions of "Heart Force..." of "Soul Force..." always speak louder than the words.
一May We Live and Die Without Regret