Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Tao Te Ching – Chapter 34
This is a beautiful little chapter about the relationship between Tao and the ten thousand things. (The “ten thousand things” is a poetic name for the manifested universe.) It begins with another water image for Tao. As we have already seen, water is the most often used metaphor for the nature of Tao.
Great Tao flows everywhere
The ten thousand things depend on it
It gives birth and rejects nothing
The character for “flows” 氾 has a water radical on the left (those three little lines). The right side of the character means to spring forth, so there is a sense here of water welling up and overflowing, giving life and nourishment to all existence. Despite its infinite creative manifestations...
Tao never acts as ruler
Ever without desire it seems very small
Yet all things return home to Tao
So it is very great
Because it claims no greatness
It completes its work without self awareness
And thus is truly great
Although this last part does not expressly use the characters 无为 for wu wei or non-action, the concept of wu wei is present here. When we allow things to manifest and move according to their nature, Tao’s creative energy is expressed through us. These last three lines, in fact, are sometimes translated as referring to a wise person instead of Tao.
Have you ever been amazed at something you easily accomplished and wondered, “How did that happen?” Perhaps it seemed like you were just along for the ride while marvels unfolded. To me, that is what this chapter describes. When we surrender our own agenda and our own need for recognition, the true power of the universe moves all around us and through us. And miracles happen.
I am realistic – I expect miracles. ~Wayne Dyer