Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won’t be any thieves.
If these three aren’t enough,
just stay in the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 19, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Throw Them All Out
The powers-that-be have set systems into place, because they don’t trust us. And, we have supported these systems, because we don’t trust ourselves. That is what we have gotten, as a result of forgetting the great Tao, our common Source, where we come from. Yesterday’s chapter presented the bleak downward spiral in which we find ourselves, currently. There is only one way out. We need to return to our Source. We need to start trusting ourselves, again. And, that means throwing away all the substitutes for the Tao.
Keep in mind, we aren’t saying there is anything wrong with holiness or wisdom, morality or justice, industry or profit. It is the systems we have set into place, the forced and contrived systems, which must be thrown away. Just like you set aside your crutches, once your broken leg has healed, they aren’t needed, if only we trust ourselves.
We need a serious reality check. These systems aren’t working for us. Holiness and wisdom aren’t making us happy. But, if we threw them way, we’d be a hundred times happier. Morality and justice aren’t making people do the right thing. But, if we threw them away, people would do the right thing. And, our current system of industry and profit, aka crony, or state, capitalism, begets thieves. The biggest ones get away with gaming the system, and they are richly rewarded for it. We have talked about the problem of excess and deficiency, before. That is what Lao Tzu is addressing, here.
We need to throw all of these away, and that will require that we trust ourselves. The powers that be will try to scare you into maintaining the status quo. That is already easy to see as we observe how Hillary is portrayed by the corporate establishment as the “obviously” sane alternative to Trump. Fear Trump, the self-proclaimed anti-establishment candidate. You don’t want his finger anywhere near access to our nuclear arsenal. What they dare not tell us is that, while Trump is a wild card, and we really don’t know what he would actually do, if elected, Hillary is a well-established evil. She won’t be offering to do anything that will change the status quo. She is bought and paid for by the Wall Street elite, and she has never opposed any foreign entanglement (i.e. war) we could get ourselves involved in.
I am not suggesting Trump should be supported. His ideas regarding trade policy, and the threats he has made to “punish” businesses who dare to use foreign labor, not even taking time to mention just about every other one of his positions, only mean more government intervention. And, that only takes us further away from our goal. But, that doesn’t make Hillary a sane alternative. She can’t be supported, if the status quo has got to go. And, it does. You have probably heard the old adage, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.” I have heard that used to try to get me to support Hillary. But, consider an equally valid argument: If the choice is between a person who may do great evil, and one who is guaranteed to do great evil, and she has years in public disservice to back that up, the devil you don’t know may not look quite so bad.
What this election has come down to is a choice between the greatest of two evils. Never before, that I can recall, has there been such horrible choices. It seems the Republicans could have offered anyone but Trump, and they would have easily beaten Hillary. And, the Democrats could have offered anyone but Hillary, and they would have easily beaten Trump. But the establishment, the powers-that-be, wanted this pairing. Pay no attention to their hyperventilating over Trump. That is an illusion. They know Trump is no threat to them. They are just gaming the system. The system has always been rigged in their favor. And, they never want to see that end. That is why these systems need to go.
And, besides, even throwing these things away won’t necessarily be enough. Lao Tzu offers us one more bit of sage advice: Just stay in the center of the circle, and let all things take their own course. Staying in the center of the circle means not intervening, not interfering, not trying to be in control. Letting things take their own course.
What will happen if we throw away our systems of holiness and wisdom, morality and justice, industry and profit? Won’t that result in chaos? Anarchy? I am not going to take the time, in this post, to try to show you all the ways things may take their own course. But, I believe we are ready for an end to the state-enforced chaos in which we find ourselves. I trust us. And you should, too. If we stay in the center of the circle, and let all things take their own course, it will be amazing what we can do all by ourselves.