Whoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao
will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.
Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will be genuine.
Let it be present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country
and your country will be an example
to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the Universe
and the Universe will sing.
How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 54, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Yesterday, we were talking about why people prefer the difficult side paths to the great Way. Lao Tzu was concerned that we be aware when things are out of balance and to stay centered in the Tao. Today, Lao Tzu is talking about staying on the easy path, centered in the great Way. It isn’t nearly as difficult as what we make it out to be. It all begins with taking a really good look inside your own self. What are you going to find there? If you peer into the darkness long enough, I will tell you exactly what you will find. I know, because I have found it too. So, what is it?
That this is true.
Lao Tzu tells us that if we don’t want to be rooted up, we need to be planted in the Tao. That if we don’t want to slip away, we need to embrace the Tao. We need to be find our center inside ourselves. And stay there. Rooted right there. Holding onto the truth that we will find, if only we will peer through the darkness.
And this isn’t something that we can put off until tomorrow. Or beat ourselves up over not doing yesterday. It is a present thing. The Tao is only concerned with this present moment. And that is what you need to make a reality in your own life. Let the Tao be present in your life. You have to do just that much. You have to let it. That is what will make you real.
And you need to let it be present in your family. I know plenty of you have relationship problems in your family. I have seen you post about them. Your focus has been misplaced. No worries. Today is a new day. Let the Tao be present in your family. Once again, that is what you have to do. You have to let it. And, then you will be amazed to find your family flourishing.
This next one is of great concern to us libertarians/anarchists. And I have been just as guilty as everyone else with this one. I can find lots to gripe about when it comes to my own country. But what should I be doing? The cure for what ails us doesn’t change, whether we are talking about individuals, family, or country. It is always the same. Let the Tao be present in your country. Your country can be an example to all countries in the world. That sure beats what I think my country currently is to every other country in the world.
Finally, we can make the whole Universe sing. We do it by letting the Tao be present in the Universe. Now, I know exactly what you are thinking about now. “Look, I think I understand how to let the Tao be present in my own life, but how exactly do I go about letting the Tao be present in my family, my country, the whole Universe?”
I am so glad you asked. We are so insistent that something has to be done. “Surely, there is something that I must do. My family life is crap. My country sucks. And the Universe? Well, if it ever did sing, I doubt I’d ever hear it.”
And so, I am going to remind you what that verb “let” means. It means you aren’t going to interfere. What should you do? Let the Tao be present. Let it. Don’t interfere with it. Don’t try to help it out. Just let it do its thing. In your life first, then your family, then your country, then the whole Universe. And I promise you, when the Universe sings, you’ll hear it. You’ll be singing along.