Chapter of the Week: #26 [Archive]

Words are tricky! Maybe 'happy' is too loaded a word to use here. The observation is: we believe that if we get, or do, what we want, we will feel better... a sense of well being. We believe in a power of free will and choice that enables us to get, or do, what we want. Free will is the means to get what we want, which when achieved will leave us feeling .....(you name it). This belief is extremely compelling for we prove it true every day, or so we 'believe'.

So, how is it if we replace 'happy' with 'sense of well being'?
Like Santa Claus, believing in 'free will' serves a purpose, whether or not it factually exists. Santa gives kids a fleeting sense of well being. Likewise, 'free will' gives us a fleeting sense of well being with the notion that we can control our lives.

'Free will', or rather, 'wise will' is not part of our genome, nor can we learn or teach it. We simply earn it as we stumble through life, fall down, pause, ponder and remember what gives us a longer and deeper sense of well being.


  • edited February 2006
    Each week we address one chapter of the Tao Te Ching. Chapter 26 was originally featured on the 1st week in July, 2004.

    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 26
    The heavy is the root of the light;
    The still is the lord of the restless.

    Therefore the gentleman when travelling all day
    Never lets the heavily laden carts out of his sight.
    It is only when he is safely behind walls and watch towers
    That he rests peacefully and is above worries.
    How, then, should a ruler of ten thousand chariots
    Make light of his own person in the eyes of the empire?

    If light, then the root is lost;
    If restless, then the lord is lost.
  • edited December 1969
    Of course, the heavy and the light produce each other as seen from a Taoist point of view. So, I wondered why this is biased in favor of the root and the heavy, i.e, If light, then the root is lost. ... and I observe that...

    Life by its very nature is biased toward the light. Simply put, life is light and death is heavy. So, in life we would naturally tend to be unbalanced in favor of the light and the restless side of reality. No matter how sincerely we 'try', we will always be on 'that' side. Having attention drawn to this, our reality, helps me keep my feet on the ground, and informs me of where to look to come closer to a balanced and peaceful life. I'll best slow down and look deeply for the root instead of going off emotionally half cocked. That brings to mind the western equivalent... "hast makes waste!"
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