Yesterday I was reading from the Tao Te Ching and I came across Chapter 5. Right now there is a lot of anger in the world, but in reading this, I found some error in my attitudes of late:
The Tao doesn’t take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn’t take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.
The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.
- Tao Te Ching (Chapter 5)
The passage quoted above is from Chapter 5 of the Tao Te Ching. How do you feel about it? Does it ring true for you? Or do you feel that you want to keep fighting the battles you’re in?
This is a challenging passage, isn’t it?
In order to accept it, one must let go. We must let go of our human nature so that we can find the Divine expression.
Just a day ago I posted about some political aspects of the world we’re in. I attacked racism and bigotry and now I’m saying… to let go of self… that same self that addresses the cares of the world?
Yes. On further reflection, I feel I have been driven into my own inner turmoil. I dislike bullies… I dislike hate of others. When I see racism I want to attack it head on. Doing so, however, creates attachment to the world.
What you are seeing here is my own conflict. Dealing with the world, without attaching to it. It’s a challenge.
Accessing spiritual realms is only possible as we let go of our lower nature (ego.) As we attempt to force our way into a deeper spiritual realm, we may find we just can’t push through.
In meditation this morning, I felt this resistance. My own inner frustrations and turmoil held me from the deeper realms I was seeking. Visualized in my mind’s eye, I saw the place I wanted to be (spiritually) but a light pushed against me.
I was able to enter, but only by letting go of my own self. That old nature that is attached to the things of the world.
Relating to the World
Then how do we relate to the world? I suppose each of us must ask what our goals are. Are we trying to relate to the world and fight its battles? Or is our goal to find unity with the Divine Source?
If the latter, you’ll find you’ll need to lose some of the baggage that we carry in our consciousness.
Yes, there are wrong things in the world. There are horrible things. You are free to fight those things. But you can also let go of the fight and let go of your identity to self.
In letting go, we release our demands on the world. We no longer need to fix the problems here. We are fixing the problems within our own selves.
This is hard. Each day it seems, we are confronted with more unusually volatile subjects. People hating people because of the race or religion. People waging violence in words or actions. People spreading ignorance and lies.
That last one (ignorance and lies) is a hot topic for me. When I hear ignorance I immediately go to work to counter it. I talk against racism. I write about the ignorance of those spinning truth into a lie. Getting involved causes me to lose my center. I fight against darkness, only to become dark (filled with anger and frustration.)
This makes it difficult to enter into deeper spiritual states. When I do enter into a deep spiritual state, I find I must leave my lower self behind. That anger, that frustration, it all gets lost behind.
What should We Do?
Each of us must find our own spiritual path. It might include going deeper and deeper into states closer to the Divine Source. We may have to be willing to let go… as a person about to die in a hospital has to let go of self.
Death – the great transformer. Death isn’t always physical. Sometimes we let our ego (self-nature) die in order to move on deeper. This type of death is a spiritual one. We let go of the attachments to the things of this world… we care, but know that true compassion is about finding Divine Truth. That is the best way to help others.
We can choose to let go of the cares of this world, in order to dive deeper into God.