All That Remains

Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.
That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 51, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

All That Remains

We have been talking about being in harmony with the Tao in negative terms. Letting yourself die, and being ready for death, certainly doesn’t sound very positive. However, there is a whole lot of positive to be had, too. And, today’s chapter is what that is all about.

Today, Lao Tzu explains, in some detail, the relationship of every being in the universe with the Tao.

Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. Every being spontaneously honors the Tao. And, the love of the Tao is in the very nature of things.

The Tao is called the great mother. And, why not? It nourishes all things. It maintains us. It comforts us. It protects us. And, it always takes us back to itself. Just like a mother does with her own children.

For our part, as children of the Tao, we are all expressions of the Tao. From the very moment we spring into existence, though we are unconscious of it, we are already perfect, and forever free. From the time we take on a physical body, and all the time we let circumstances complete us, we spontaneously are honoring our mother, the Tao.

It is that word “let” which is so very important in our development. You could say, “It is all that remains.” That is why we find that word, let, over and over again throughout the Tao Te Ching. We are free to resist. But, that is resisting what is in our very nature – to be loved, and to love, in return.

Can we, like the Tao, create without possessing, act without expecting, and guide without interfering? Because, when we do, when we “let”, being led by our intuition, and acting spontaneously, the love of the Tao, which is in the very nature of things, is expressed for all the world to experience. It isn’t just loving the Tao. It is loving all her children.

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