How does lust fit into love?

Each week we address one chapter of the Tao Te Ching. 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 79
When peace is made between great enemies,
Some enmity is bound to remain un-dispelled.
How can this be considered perfect?

Therefore the sage take the left-hand tally, but exacts no payment from the people.
The man of virtue takes charge of the tally;
The man of no virtue takes charge of exaction.

It is the way of heaven to show no favoritism.
It is for ever on the side of the good man.

Read commentary previously posted for this chapter.
Read notes on translations
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  • edited December 1969
    How does lust fit into love?

    In my travels through life, I am naturally attracted to the opposite sex on a spritual, emotional, and physical level. In clarity, I strive for a wholesome union. And I know that is what I truly desire. But at the same time, I recognize the fact that the libido function in humans can be very strong. Indeed, God does want us to procreate. So, at times I feel conflicted between a higher love and the primal desires of my libido. I wish to merge these two aspects, and acknowledge that the root of my problem may be in the fact that I have never been truly in love.

    So, I ponder what are ways to purify oneself on the path?

    I have read about Daoist Sexology, but I admit that without a qualified teacher, those teachings appear too esoteric. I do practice Chi Gung and chant a hindu mantra, both of which have changed my life tremendously for the better.

    But, I ask what is pratical advice I can use on my journey?


    -los :wink:
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] 88los:[/cite]...But, I ask what is practical advice I can use on my journey?
    Boy, that is a hum dinger of a question. As I see it, self honesty is the only gateway to resolve such issues. If one is not prepared to be scrupulously self honest, moment to moment, then other solutions will seem to work for a while, but in the end one is always back to square one.

    So, the question becomes, “what practical advice” can I offer to help you be more self honest. Lord, that feels like the hum dinger of hum dingers.

    First it helps to have an example of self dis-honesty. One of the most universal examples I’ve noticed is the how I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want it both ways. I allow myself to cheat a little, yet feel indignant when other’s cheat. I want to have things but don’t want to work for them; that’s what makes credit cards so irresistible. They impart an illusion of something for nothing, at least momentarily.

    Wanting it both ways, and having double standards is built into our biology I expect. Which makes such self dis-honesty so universal and also so intractable. So again, practically speaking, I see your question amounts to this: "How can I become more self honest?"

    I began being more self honest when I began emotionally knowing that wanting it both ways gave me neither, in the sense that I was never [chref=7]able to accomplish my private ends[/chref]. Such emotional realization only comes through experience, i.e., living. No technique, trick, secret, practice, tool, thought, action…etc., helps make me more self honest. It is truly much simpler that anything I can do. And so, ‘[chref=48] in the pursuit of the way one does less every day[/chref]’.

    Another passage also comes to mind: ‘[chref=70]it is because people are ignorant that they fail to understand[/chref]’. Is this an ignorance of the futility of wanting to have it both ways, or an ignorance of even the fact that I want to have it both ways? Probably it is both. The later is the first hurdle of ignorance to [chref=78]overcome[/chref]; the former is the next hurdle.

    And perhaps there is one final hurdle: an ignorance of not knowing I was nigh well dead the moment I was born; of not knowing I have only this moment; of not knowing there is no tomorrow; of not knowing 'later' is an illusion into which I toss my wasted moments, i.e., “I’ll get it together tomorrow”. And when I say knowing, I really mean feeling not [chref=71]thinking[/chref]. Most everyone 'knows' these ideas, yet acts otherwise. Only after I really burn my fingers in the fire do I [chref=71]know[/chref] fire burns.

    So much for “practical advice”, eh? Many words to beat around the bush of nothing. Although, pointing out a ‘bush of [chref=11]Nothing[/chref]’ may have some practical use.
  • edited December 1969
    I like that answer, very helpful.


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