Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from your own mind
and thus understand all things?
Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 10, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Can You Just…
Okay, this is day three of telling about the supreme good (or virtue), and how to put it into practice in our lives. I only hope you were able to read the last two chapters (with my commentary).
I decided on a title right away, today. Usually, it is something that only comes to me after I am pretty much done writing my thoughts on the chapter. But, some how, “Can you just…” seemed the right thing to call it, right from the beginning.
Can you just coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness? Can you just let your body become supple as a newborn child’s? Can you just cleanse your inner vision until you see nothing but the light? Can you just love people and lead them without imposing your will? Can you just deal with the most vital matters by letting events take their course? Can you just step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?
Those six rhetorical questions-no, they aren’t impossible things to achieve. They aren’t even difficult to do. You can do this without doing anything, at all. We are the ones that put up the road blocks, the stumbling blocks. We are the ones that make it difficult. That make it all too complicated. The questions are rhetorical for a reason. That can you just could just as easily be read, won’t you just.
Won’t you just understand how easy it is to give birth and nourish, to have without possessing, to act without any expectations, to lead without trying to control.
Yes, it is the supreme virtue! And, being the supreme virtue, it is understandable to think practicing it should be difficult. But that isn’t the way things are, at all.
Lao Tzu wants to remind us of who we have always been. That original oneness, like when we were newly born, with an inner vision so clear we saw nothing but the light, without any desire to impose our own will, or to interfere with the course of things.
It is what we think we know in our minds that gets in the way of our truly understanding all things. It is time to take a step back from that. To let go of what we think we know. To trust our inner vision.
And this, we will begin to do, next week. Have a great weekend, my friends! Enjoy your time saying, out with the old, and in with the new, year. Be full of joy, and remember, don’t drink and drive. 😉