Reflections on Chapter 4 of the Tao Te Ching:
Tao is like an empty cup
that cannot be filled,
Although we drink of it continuously.
It is the deep source
of the Ten Thousand Things.
Tao smoothes our sharp edges,
Untangles the knots in our lives,
And blends our brilliance with our dust.
Its depth is eternal.
The Original Divinity.
I remember reading once in Master (Hua Ching) Ni’s I Ching book about life being like a string. Imagine a string that is straight. That is a long life, easy and smooth. Now imagine a string that has lots of curves in it. If measured with a ruler, this line would appear short. If this string were your life, it would be shortened by the drastic ups and downs from a chaotic existence.
So how do we straighten our string?
Perhaps a good place to start would be with your mind. If you have ever meditated, you know that the mind is certainly a busy place. This is where all the chaos (or peace) starts from. Where are you mentally? What are you telling yourself? What is that crazy voice saying to you today to stir things up within you energetically?
I think it is interesting to observe this. When I sit down to meditate, sometimes my mind carries me away and moments later, I wake up and notice that I was gone for a bit. Wow… so sneaky! It got me – like a game I play with myself.
I love the line in Chapter 4 – “blends our brilliance with our dust”. We all have both, all the time. On the one hand, we are God Illumined and on the other hand, we are merely dust. We get to choose which one to focus on.
Check out Chapter 4 of the Tao Te Ching that this essay was based on.