Healing the Great Split...(The Tao Te Ching part 3)

~ by Adele

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

In our third week of checking out the Tao Te Ching, we begin by reflecting back on what we’ve learnt so far…

We’ve learnt that the theme of the Tao is ‘effortless effort’….it just is, and everything is it. That it unfolds naturally, and we are already totally one with it. However, to become effortless, to relax into this ‘non-doing’, first takes quite a bit of ‘doing’. Hence the ‘effortless effort’!

We’ve learnt that the Tao itself is undefinable and unnameable…although we can do our very best to describe how it feels. The combination of words ‘confusing-simple’, comes to my mind (which is so very Tao of me…!)

As we know, the Tao is a dance with opposition, and so an endeavour to find the middle way within this. It asks us to fully participate with the extremes of the opposites, to know sorrow as much as joy, exhaustion as much as energy, inauthentic as much as authentic, and therefore the nature of all existence.

But despite nudging us to open up to both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, the Tao asks us to keep it whole. Which brings us to this week’s theme….dissolving the great divide.

Whatever experience we have that brings us into our centres is a very valuable experience. Perhaps it’s a moment of joy or connection, even simply being in nature that brings us home into ourselves and the Tao. When everything is suddenly perfect just as it is, and our minds for a moment stop grasping…allowing the naturalness intended to flow out in front of us.

I can notice, as we explored tonight, perhaps what exactly occurs in my psycho-physiology when I come back to myself, or check in with the Tao. It could even be to me, or you, described in a word that is as simple as “open”, or “centre”. Or anything that reminds me what this place is. India have such a thing as the “Thousand Words”…which are a collection of a thousand words to describe this feeling, this place. They have loads of different Gods just to represent this one. I encourage you to use anything that resonates with you that you can perhaps use as an anchor to find your way back in, in times you may stumble out.

Knowing these moments, means we are aware of the moments that we’re thrown out of our centres. These moments are so equally valuable…as they allow us the opportunities to find our way home again and again. Last week, we spoke about desire being the main pull that causes us to leave our centres.

What is desire? Where does desire come from? Of course, natural desire is an evolutionary impulse, which is organically part of the Tao. A desire to expand, a desire to be. It is where all life springs forth from.

But it is when our little egoic desires start to creep in, that they start to mess with the natural flow of life. When our singular, personal likes or dislikes come in and clash with life, we start to cut ourselves off from it. When life’s natural flow or celebration of itself doesn’t ‘match up’ to our wants and ideas, we can block the great idea. The one that life has for us. And we could end up missing the point!

When we hold a desire for things to be different than what they are, it means we are saying ‘no’ to life. We create an alternative reality…which in turn separates us from the experience of life. When life is just really asking us to join in on this one we’re in!

The more we relax into ourselves and let go of our personal desires and demands, we can come into tune with the bigger picture. I know within my own life, I have been disappointed by what’s happened when life hasn’t gone to my plan….only to have a greater clarity a few years down the line. It all works out. It really does. Maybe not the way 'we' want it to, but it does. Even when it doesn’t go to my plan….it works out. Then when I can finally see it from a new perspective, I can laugh a little at the things I wanted and why I put up such a fight. Life waits for you to have that little ‘aha’ moment and then it whispers in your ear…”See! You could have just chilled out a little and trusted in something bigger than little you! The big ol’ Tao!”.  It really has got your back, trust.

We’re taught almost straight away in childhood, that “This is good, this is bad”, and when we bring in our judgements and reviews on how life’s going according to our wishes, we cause the great split. We judge one thing as ‘right’ and another as ‘wrong’, and therefore cut life into small pieces, when it’s actually all just a great expression of the infinite. We become okay with this tiny little bit of life if it matches up for me, but not okay with all of that which doesn’t. As if we are somehow entitled to boss the great infinite about, like our opinion really matters. It’s really weird. And I think I have moments of doing it most days!

But the Tao doesn’t take sides. It’s not opinionated. In this modern day world, where standing up for your beliefs and ‘fighting for what’s right’, is seen as the heroic thing to do, it may sound like the way of the Tao is lazy. But I don’t think so. It is the ultimate wisdom. It takes care of itself and lets the rest be. It leaves the world alone. The Tao knows that if we all managed to drop into this space where the Tao runs through, we are already geared to do the ‘right’ thing. The vibration of the Tao is already peace. The vibration of the Tao is already kindness, love and joy. If we stand up and fight against those who are fighting, we split ourselves for the split. But if we drop into the space of the Tao for ourselves, it must really be the biggest thing we can do for humanity.

There is of course a time for courage, a time for bravery and there is always a time for sticking to our truth. But to heal the great split in the world, is to heal the split within ourselves first. To stop labelling things that happen as unjust or unfair, or wonderful. It just is, and it all has its place.

It sounds like a bit of a harsh truth, but it’s really a liberation. A dissolving of the divide. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ things happen, and we can get emotionally fired up about them. Which is sometimes great, it means we learn from our mistakes as a human race. But trying to figure them out and understand them is still using our little mind, and not the huge wisdom of the Tao. Life’s great intelligence.

Things must play out, and we must let them. Trusting in the bigger picture we might not yet see.

Living with, living from and living for the Tao, means we accept the challenge to accept the entirety of life. To be in tune with the Tao means we don’t split ourselves or life into pieces. We rest back into the bigger picture and see it all as it is.

And if we’re feeling particularly daring one day…we could even go as far as calling it all ‘perfect’...

Adele x 


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