Reflections on Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching:
The Tao that can be told is not the Eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name.
Nothingness is the Origin of Heaven and Earth.
Beingness is the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things.
When you are free of desire, you will understand the Essence of your life.
When you identify with your desires, you will observe the manifestations of your life.
Both contain the deepest secrets arising from the dark unknown, the Doorway to the Mysteries of Life.
When you are pointing at the moon, your finger is not the moon. Just as pointing at something is not something, referring to Tao is not Tao. In the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu refers to this conundrum. How can we explain something that encompasses all that we have ever known and all that we will never know?
I laugh sometimes when I come across stuff where someone is trying to prove out something in order to believe in it. Do we think that we know everything there is to know or else it does not exist? Who are we? How is it that man has not been able to manufacture babies and yet they are born every day? How is it that plants grow without any help from us in the woods? How is it that the bears know what to do to get food? They certainly don’t need interference by man. Perhaps a bit of humility is in order.
I watched this great video on TED recently where Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) was talking about art and how many artists struggle after creating a magnificent piece because they feel a responsibility to that creation and, subsequently, more creations to come. What if we were to just let it go and realize that something came THROUGH us to create that magnificence? That is what Lao Tzu is talking about here in Chapter One of the Tao Te Ching. Accept the incredible beauty around you and don’t worry about it. Don’t feel that you are responsible for making it happen – just let it happen and don’t get in the way of your own magnificence.