The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Thus, the Master travels all day
without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 26, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Yesterday, Lao Tzu identified us humans as one of the four great powers.Today, he refers to us as lords of the country. He has help for us in understanding how to exercise our power. He doesn’t want us flitting about like fools, or being blown to and fro.
To help us today, he uses the concept of yin and yang for maintaining balance in our travels. He says that the heavy is the root of the light. And, the unmoved is the source of all movement. What does he mean by this?
I think that what he is getting at, is he wants us to be rooted, to be grounded, in reality. We are, each one of us, lords. And he wants us to act accordingly. In our daily travels, whether near, or far away from home, we need to never lose touch with our root. The heavy, the root, is like an anchor that keeps us from being blown to and fro. It keeps us grounded in reality. Too often, we lose touch with reality. We get distracted by all the turmoil around us. And, we start to get restless.
But restlessness is not what should be moving us. When restlessness moves us we lose touch with who we are. Our source is what should move us, and that source is the unmoved, the Tao. The Tao is always on the move; yet, we describe it as unmoved. Why? We talked about this yesterday. The Tao is serene in the midst of the turmoil and chaos. Nothing shakes it. It is unchanging. It simply follows itself as it flows through all things; inside and outside, and returning once again to the origin of all things.
The Master, once again, is our example. Lao Tzu says she travels all day without leaving home. Home is her root. It is what keeps her anchored in reality. However splendid the views (and with it being the season of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, there are lots of splendid views), she remains unmoved by them. It isn’t that she doesn’t appreciate and enjoy them. But she doesn’t let them change who she is. She stays serenely in herself, throughout her day. Being in touch with reality is being in touch with who we are.