Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thights on the Tao Te Ching 30

Poem 30

Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn't try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counterforce.
Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.

The Master does his job
and then stops.
He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself,
he doesn't try to convince others.
Because he is content with himself,
he doesn't need others' approval.
Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.


In our last post we commented that all control is self-control.  It is surely also a parallel truism to observe that all acceptance is self-acceptance and another to opine that all love springs from authentic self-love.  One can run oneself ragged helping others, even work oneself into nervous exhaustion.  It is when, paradoxically, one really authentically looks after one's self that one can be truly caring of others.

Evergreen Tree: Newbridge House
Once again, I must confess that the above Taoist poem is a little too negative for me, and I believe it recommends a certain passivity and fatalism that sticks in the throat of us moderns.  However, there is a certain wisdom is the advice that it is generally better not to force an issue, not to push things beyond breaking point with others.  Without a shadow of a doubt, such pushing leads all too inevitably to war, and we have far too many examples of these wars in today's world.  It is also a truism to comment that violence leads inevitably to more violence and thence it spirals way out of control.

Once again, I invite the willing reader to read the above poem reflectively and let some word, phrase or line offer itself as a mantra for a short meditation.

In this Season of Seasons, this Season of Peace and Justice, I wish all the readers of these few thoughts, peace in their own lives and those of their families.  Namaste, friends.


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