What If I Fail?

The Tao is always at ease.
It overcomes without competing,
answers without speaking a word,
arrives without being summoned,
accomplishes without a plan.

Its net covers the whole universe.
And though its meshes are wide,
it doesn’t let a thing slip through.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 73, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Yesterday, we were talking about what happens when we lose our sense of awe, when we no longer trust ourselves, and become dependent on some outside authority. The Master at leading people would want us to unlearn our reliance on something outside of ourselves, and to relearn self-reliance. They would take a step back; and, instead of further confusing the people, would teach without teaching. Leading, by example, and showing the people the way back to their true selves.

Where are the Masters? They seem to be in short supply. Those who govern us have become quite adept at exploiting our weaknesses, and offer us a safety net that only furthers greater and greater dependence on the rations they toss our way. Elections have become a contest to see who can promise the most goodies. Whether it is those on the left, who see a nearly infinite pile of goodies to be redistributed to everyone, or those on the right, who see a slightly smaller pile of goodies, so we dare not allow anyone different from us to get any of our goodies – no one is showing the people how they can rely on themselves.

With my blog, I don’t approach things from the left or the right. I see things as they are, not as they seem to be. The goodies offered by those who want to maintain the status quo are all an illusion. And people who are different from us are no threat to their illusion. Because Masters are in such short supply, I try, in my own little way, to expose the illusion, and point out the reality. The life of ease, promised by those who want to hold you down, is an illusion. But, there is a life of ease to be had, by anyone who will unlearn reliance on some outside authority, and begin, once again, to trust ourselves. The Tao is the name Lao Tzu gave it. It is always at ease. Overcoming without competing. Answering without speaking a word. Arriving without being summoned. Accomplishing without a plan. It is the way things actually are in our Universe. You can pick up on its ebb and flow, by observing nature, left to itself. Master that, and you, too, can flow with it. Effortlessly. Spontaneously. Intuitively.

You have everything you need to be content in your own life. Trust yourself, again. “But, what if I fail?” You most certainly will. Many times. But every time you do, the Tao has your back. Its net covers the whole universe. And though its meshes are wide, it doesn’t let a thing slip through. “Oh, but why are its meshes so wide?” That, my friends, is to allow us room to grow. This is no net to constrain us. It is a net which leaves us completely free, to be all we can be.

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