Tao is the Movement Back to Source

Reflections on Chapter 40 of the Tao Te Ching:

Tao is the movement back to source.
Yielding is its way.
The Ten Thousand Things exist from being.
Being exists from non-being.

I think this is the shortest chapter on record. I am not sure there is really a lot that I can say about it. It is about yielding and just allowing things to be in their perfection.  Tao is everything – the good, the bad, the ugly. Tao is the movement back to source.

We are moving back to source all the time.

It may seem sometimes that we are moving in the wrong direction, but ultimately all of it is really just moving back to source. Have you ever tried canoeing up a river? If you’ve ever tried it, it’s not easy. It is difficult. If you turn around and go downstream, it is easy. Not to say that life should be easy, but if you are going with the flow it is easier. If you are going against the flow or finding that things are irritating, you are most likely going against the flow.

When I hear stories of the challenges that people go through, it feels sad. Their lives are so difficult. I know that feeling of when things are difficult because I have had difficulties in my own life. When you are in the midst of it, it seems like everything is challenging, everything is hard. Just know that in those moments, there is something that you are not seeing. There is a clue somewhere for you of a different path to travel. Just remember that.

In the last two lines, it all goes back to source. You can look at it as a forward thing that we are moving to source or you can look back at where we came from that is source. It’s a circle. That is kinda cool. The being and the non-being are like a light switch – exist and not exist. The exist comes out of the not exist. One can’t exist without the other. There’s really not a whole lot more that you can say about that.  This is a pretty simple chapter that contains some basic keys to the Universe.


  1. Pingback: 40 – Return to Source

  2. Short contains the essence. If we are not yielding we are not following the Tao. We are not separate from the Source. It is only appearance that makes it seem we are moving back or forward. Existence and non-existence are two sides of the same coin which actually doesn’t exist anyway on the ultimate level. Ultimate and relative levels dance intertwined.
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