True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.
True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.
The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 45, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
On the Day After, the Same Old Same Old
I am now writing this on the day after the election. Feeling a bit hungover. Though I consumed nary an adult beverage last night. Last night I did, however, stay up way past my bedtime. Numb. I was not expecting this outcome. As I said in my post, yesterday, I had no expectations going into this election. At least no good ones.
My sister messaged me to say I must be happy that Trump won. “Happy? Why would I be happy that Trump won? I didn’t want Trump to win.” But, you really didn’t want Hillary to win. That was certainly true enough. But, I had assumed she would. I already was going over the nightmare scenarios in my mind. They included mushroom clouds. I never expected Trump would win. Never underestimate the peasants with pitchforks.
It was never about Trump. I knew that was the case; though, Hillary desperately wanted to make it about Trump. She, the poster child for the Establishment. And, I had, more or less, convinced myself that she had succeeded in making it about Trump; and, in the end, she would prevail. I kept railing against Hillary. Never considering Trump would so decisively win. I certainly didn’t vote for him. But, in my state of Missouri, which went something close to 2 to 1 for Trump over Clinton, and Gary Johnson only getting three percent of the vote, my vote would have made absolutely no difference. As Sheldon Richman posted on his own blog, it is the same old same old. “The good news: the losers lost. The bad news: the winners won.”
Numbness has now given way to calm. Is this what true perfection looks like? It seems imperfect. Is this what true fullness feels like? It seems empty. Why does true straightness appear so crooked? Why does true wisdom appear to be folly? How artless it all is! Or, is it?
I have taken to reassuring friends of mine, who need reassuring, things are not going to be as bad as you are thinking they will be. Just allow things to happen. Only as events come, should you shape them. Then, step out of the way. Let the Tao speak for itself! This is true art. Perfectly itself. Fully present.