To the Tao be True

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 8, 2013

I was sixteen years young when it happened.

Alone in reverie, in a cozy domestic setting, I suddenly felt a yearning to be One with it all. The yearning intensified, peaked in an instant of Unity, and then faded into ordinary waking consciousness.

It was my first experience with mystical union, my first spontaneous surrender to cosmic unity.

Today, I can just as easily be still and experience unity, knowing that I am present to all that is.

This posture, this experience, this knowing is but one of two indicators that we are being true to the Tao.

The other indicator of truth requires an ongoing awareness of the difference between “letting it be” and “making it so”, between “going with the flow, without resistance” and “making it so, no matter what”.

By way of compensation, we could allow “letting it be” to be the central integrating theme of our lives, as a way to balance too much “making it so”, or, on the other side of the coin, we could make “making it so” the central integrating theme of our lives, perhaps as a way to balance too much “letting it be”.

By the same token, we could also take a quantum leap and do as quantum computers do with qubits. If bits are binary, yielding 0 or 1 as options, qubits are tertiary, yielding 0, 1, and 01 as options.

In plain language, we could be this (letting it be), that (making it so), or this and that (finding and striking a balance between “letting it be” and “making it so”, in the course of living our lives).

In essence, being true to the Tao is being true to the quantum nature of our being, to our natural capacity to be this, that, or this and that, in harmony with our connection to the energy of Tao.

We can always give ourselves a full experience of being this or that, but we can also give ourselves a fulfilling experience of being this and that, where “let it be or make it so?” is no longer an issue.

Tao Te Ching, Verse 54

Verse 54 invites us to broaden our perspective on the world, to go beyond looking at ourselves as separate, as cut off from the flow of life that manifests as self and family, community and country.

Whosoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whosoever is embraced by the Tao
will not slip away.

Generations honor generations endlessly.
Cultivated in the self, virtue is realized;
Cultivated in the family, virtue overflows;
Cultivated in community, virtue increases;
Cultivated in the state, virtue abounds.

The Tao is everywhere present,
becoming everything and everyone.
To see it truly, see it as it is.
In a person, see it as a person;
In a family, see it as a family;
In a country, see it as a country;
In the world, see it as the world.

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.

Edited slightly by yours truly to enhance the flow of text

Ref: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

These words of wisdom beckon us to break through the shell of our own crusty, crafty conditioning, to open our eyes in a new way and to see the Way in everything, everyone, everywhere.

My Impressions of the Verse

Any preoccupation with this world is One where presence meets pretense.

The world is full of pretense, where perception and deception present conditional realities. Feeling without condition, we can be present to these conditions, where nothing is as it seems.

Whosoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whosoever is embraced by the Tao
will not slip away.

Planted in Presence and embraced by Presence, we remain securely grounded by authentic experience.

Generations honor generations endlessly.
Cultivated in the self, virtue is realized;
Cultivated in the family, virtue overflows;
Cultivated in community, virtue increases;
Cultivated in the state, virtue abounds.

Where an ongoing relationship with the Tao is concerned, embodied virtue is humble, benevolent, and prudent, emphasizing the naturalness of simplicity, authenticity, and spontaneity.

Wu wei (action through non-action) is the way of the Tao, of doing by way of being, and the virtues it allows us to express serve to perpetuate beneficence and generosity without end.

The Tao is everywhere present,
becoming everything and everyone.
To see it truly, see it as it is.
In a person, see it as a person;
In a family, see it as a family;
In a country, see it as a country;
In the world, see it as the world.

To see them truly, we see them as they are, without pressure or pretense, while being present to them all, knowing and feeling the crucial and critical difference between what is and what is not.

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.

In other words, by grounding myself within and being present to what is.

Implications for Personal Fulfillment

The human body contains the power and carries the potential to be truly representative of the Tao – a vessel and vehicle by which and through which the Tao can be uniquely explored and fully expressed.

Whatever constructive, creative difference we make or care to make in this world serves a moral and spiritual mandate from heaven to explore and express, evolve and expand, awaken and enlighten.

The Tao is as generous as it is generative: aligned with wu wei, with each and every passing moment perceived, there is always something more to say or do, something else to have or get, somewhere else to be or go, just so long as the being and doing, having and going, remain rooted in the Tao, conceived, conducted, and conveyed prudently and playfully, naturally and spontaneously.

Cultivated in a mature cosmos, the fruits of such virtue would proliferate without end.

Next up: In Perfect Harmony (Living by Letting Go)

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This post is one of many in an ongoing series that began here.

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