Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn’t try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counter force.
Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon one’s self.
The Master does his job
and then stops.
He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself,
he doesn’t try to convince others.
Because he is content with himself,
he doesn’t need others’ approval.
Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 30, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
When I Let Fear Move Me
Back in chapter thirteen of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu told us hope is as hollow as fear. Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. And, when we don’t see the self as self, then what do we have to fear?
I get it. Really, I do. It is something that has sustained me throughout this US presidential election campaign, as Hillary has used fear of Trump to try to get those of us who respond to fear to support her campaign. But, what of those who fear Hillary? What if my fear isn’t due to my thinking of the self, but thinking of the world, as Lao Tzu told us to do in chapter thirteen.
If those who wished to govern us relied on the Tao in governing us, then we would truly have nothing to fear. My fears, for our world, stem from the reality that they don’t. For if they did, they wouldn’t try to force issues or defeat enemies by force of arms. Try all you want to convince me Hillary isn’t a warmonger. I am neither blind, nor deaf. Her record and her rhetoric make it quite clear.
For every force there is a counter force. This is elementary physics. It is something we all should have learned as children out on the playground. But Hillary loves bombs. And, just in case anyone thinks this is an endorsement of Trump, I don’t want his fingers anywhere near our weapons of mass destruction, either. Violence, whether well intentioned or not, always rebounds upon one’s self.
Some how, some way, we are going to have to come to the conclusion that violence cannot be an option to which we ever resort. “Oh, but they aggressed against us first!” Sure. And, American foreign policy, every foreign intervention, every war, has also been played out as though we were the victims. Even though the reality has always been that we provoked whatever attacks were made against us, and we responded back multiplied-fold.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War was supposed to be over. Any real threat of complete and utter annihilation of our whole planet by a full-scale nuclear war should have been relegated to the past. But, warmongers could never be happy with that. Our foreign policy, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has seen the expansion of NATO. Why? When disbanding it was the obvious sane response to our winning the Cold War.
But now, it is like the Cold War never ended; and the potential for World War III, seems all but guaranteed to be started soon after the inauguration of the newly crowned ruler of the “free” world.
Oh, how my fears have moved me! I want to believe they are mere phantoms. I really do.
Good God, man, get a hold of yourself!
Observe the turmoil of beings, yes. But, don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the turmoil. Contemplate how all beings return to the Source. That is serenity.
Do your job and then stop. Understand that the universe is forever out of control. Trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao. Stop. Breathe in. Breathe out. Keep breathing. Stay in the center of the circle. Let all things, including this thing, take their own course.
If you believed in yourself, you wouldn’t try to convince others. If you were content with yourself, you wouldn’t need others’ approval. If you accepted yourself, the whole world would accept you.
I am at peace, again, in the center of the circle.
But, that doesn’t change the laws which govern our universe. Violence always rebounds on those who are violent. For every force there is a counter force. If you were to rely on the Tao in governing, both yourself and others, you wouldn’t try to force issues.