Chapter of the Week: #22 [Archive]

yeah, grief develops the mind...or is it soul? anyway, the counselor told me im grieving, which sounds so final-but in a way, no matter what the outcome, something has ended...every new beginning is some other beginnings end (in times of trouble, song lyrics say so much)-things will never be the same again-
i've had to depend on friends more than ever, their emotional support, which i've avoided before (i am a rock, i am an island)-ive shown weakness and vulnerablity to the whole world...
and anthonys had to be on his own for the first time, and thats a terrible but neccesary thing...i often heard him cry out in his sleep from nightmares and id go in and be there as he woke up, to comfort him-now a nightmare happened while he was awake, and i was nowhere around, no help at all...and ill never forgive myself that, but hope he does, and grows from it...

so much of this is mememe, but he was so much of me that when he's gone, im grasping for whats left of me...

...where am i at on lifes continum-well, besides being at point where i need to learn how to spell continuium (just keep adding u's , i think) even before this i had enuf grief to last me a lifetime...a spouse...i've been thru one bad marriage-my parents-and never had a desire for another-never wanted kids either-they only break your heart-but A snuck in when i wasnt if that part of my life should be over, im older, wiser, sadder and hopefully mature enuf to just stay alone the rest of my life...ive had enuf of people to last a lifetime...


  • edited August 2007
    Each week we address one chapter of the Tao Te Ching. Chapter 22 was originally featured on the 1st week in January, 2006.

    Note: The Tao Te Ching can be obscure, especially if you think you're supposed to understand what it's saying! We find it easier and more instructive to simply contemplate how the chapter resonates with your personal experience. Becoming more aware at this fundamental level simplifies life. This approach conforms to the view that true knowing lies within ourselves. Thus, when a passage in the scripture resonates, you've found your inner truth. The same applies for when it evokes a question; questions are the grist for self realization.

    Chapter 22
    Bowed down then preserved;
    Bent then straight;
    Hollow then full;
    Worn then new;
    A little then benefitted;
    A lot then perplexed.

    Therefore the sage embraces the One and is a model for the empire.

    He does not show himself, and so is conspicuous;
    He does not consider himself right, and so is illustrious;
    He does not brag, and so has merit;
    He does not boast, and so endures.

    It is because he does not contend that no one in the empire is in a position
    to contend with him.

    The way the ancients had it, 'Bowed down then preserved' is no empty saying.
    Truly it enables one to be preserved to the end.
  • edited December 1969
    [Note: I italicize phrases I borrow from the chapter, and link to phrases I borrow from other chapters to help tie chapters together. While making it more tedious to read, :? the Tao Te Ching is best pondered in the context of the whole.]

    In my view, the top part just lays 'it' (Nature) out as it is. 'It' is hollow then full, bent then straight; I'd add, dead then alive, asleep then awake, hungry then satiated ... on and on through all the contrasting qualities of Nature (as we perceive them anyway). Once we realize this process is going on 'behind the scenes' life becomes much [chref=70]easier[/chref] to understand. O.K., then what? The day follows night, follows day, follows night. How is this going to make any real difference in daily life?

    The answer lies with, ' Bowed down then preserved ' is no empty saying. The more I contend, the more the world will contend with me, and soon the tide will turns; consequences bow me down. Yet, this only pushes me to contend all the more... to win. In terms of the 'coin', the more I choose 'heads', the more I get 'tails',... and the more driven I will be to seek 'heads'. The deeper I know this is so, and thus embrace the One, the deeper I must approach life from the [chref=61]lower position[/chref]. After all, what else can I possible do?

    This is why 'morality' [chref=38]is without virtue[/chref], but instead simply civilization's game of pretense and wishful thinking. It is only the [chref=51]circumstances[/chref] of life that bring us the [chref=41]ample virtue[/chref] for which we wish. Naturally, we hate to hear that, for that make us powerless to control life as we envision it should be. Biology [chref=65]hoodwinks[/chref] us into forcing our way through life by 'telling' us that winning is wonderful. Ironically, the opposite is the truth: only by giving up can we be preserved and 'win'.

    Jesus put it all quite simply when he said, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (from Luke); and again, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (from Matthew). Who is the "my" in "for my sake"?...

    [chref=4]Darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there.
    I know not whose son it is.
    It images the forefather of God.[/chref]
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Carl:[/cite]It is because he does not contend that no one in the empire is in a position to contend with him.

    I find myself looking at how I contend in life. Rarely is it physical, although there were times when I felt I had to defend myself. It is almost always by words or thoughts. When by words, it is always by thoughts first, though, when by thoughts, words do not always follow.

    So, I contend mainly in my head. Does it make a difference (whether physically, verbally, or mentally)? Not to my experience of life. And, in my experience, not to the world's reaction to me. The world can always tell what you are thinking.
Sign In or Register to comment.