The Road to Peace is Paved with the Stuff We Don’t Need

cc image by Chi King on Flickr

cc image by Chi King on Flickr

Reflections on Chapter 32 of the Tao Te Ching:

Tao is nameless.

Simple and small,
though it cannot be commanded.

If leaders are able to lead with Tao,
the Ten Thousand Things will naturally follow.
Heaven and Earth will unite and send down sweet rain.
The people, without command, will naturally take the road of peace.

Since rules have existed,
there have been names for things.
Naming things exhausts them.
If you know when to stop,
there is no danger.

In this way,
the world relates to Tao
as the rivers and streams to the ocean.

 Yesterday, we talked about war. Today, let’s talk about peace.

It seems as if there are some similarities between creating rules and creating needs. It is that need to control things and define them so that you can work with it. But when you define things, you exhaust them. We can relate to this in terms of ourselves. We know that experience when someone has us in a box. We are defined in a certain way in their minds. It’s a label. We know how frustrating that is. The rules and the labels constrict us. Lao Tzu is trying to say that if you allow things to flow naturally, they flow quite beautifully by themselves. If we can let go of control and not have to have things be a certain way, or turn out the way that we want them to, things will flow.

The Law of Attraction teaches us how to allow things to just be.

Many times, the way you allow things to be is much greater than what you originally perceived or defined. It is greater because your perception is usually quite limited by your own experience.  Being in a human form, we can’t quite grasp the concepts of all that is around us. The potential around us is much greater than our current limited perceptions.

So it is really important to understand yourself to move into the life you want. What is it that makes you tick? What is it that really lights you up? It is important to really understand that and to follow your true path.  No one can define that for you.

It’s called Lifestyle Design.

If you really look deeply at your life, you probably don’t need to have all the stuff you have. So much of the stuff that we have is just clutter from years of accumulating and consuming. It is all just goop and we don’t need it. You don’t need to be doing all the things that you are doing, either. Most of it isn’t really what rocks your boat. If you aren’t loving it, why do it? Let someone else do that stuff. Someone who likes doing it or someone who gets satisfaction out of taking on that task. If we cut out half the crap and half the activity, we would not need half the home we have and we would not need half the income.

If you love your job, most likely you don’t really mind putting forth a little extra effort. The problem is, so many people are not doing what they love. They aren’t doing what they are meant to be doing. That is the problem. Everyone wants different things. If you are an employer and you are worried about people not loving their job, then maybe look at the job. Is it boring? Are you hampering their desire for some expression? I think that companies are really being asked to look at this. People are beginning to notice that they really don’t need to consume. Globally, we are letting go a bit. We’ve learned our lessons with foreclosures and bankruptcies and investing in thin air.

We want more out of life. We want a richer life.

Richer doesn’t always mean money. This concept is worth considering, even with your everyday chores… Is there something that you do not enjoy doing? Swap with someone. Maybe a neighbor of yours has a riding lawnmower. Would they be willing to mow your lawn if you cleaned their car? We could even do this with stuff. My neighbors and I share tools and resources sometimes . I love that about them. I love it when they ask me for help because it feels good to help them. I think that they feel the same.

These changes aren’t always immediate. Sometimes the things you are working towards take time. That’s OK. The important thing is that you are working toward the life you want. You are really looking at what your life is about and what you need to be doing that really lights you up. It is very unique to you. It is not what other people are doing. If people have defined you, like you need to be a lawyer because your parents were both lawyers or something like that, that may be a label that does not fit you. Discovering this is a good thing.

Labels are limitations for people.

In some cases, we think we need rules. We need rules to force people to be doing what we need them to be doing. The only reason we need the rules is because we are not trusting that will do it on their own because it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, the way things are designed – at least in our society – we DO need rules because people are so far from understanding these principles. I am not even really sure how we could get back to it. It would be like quitting pharmaceuticals cold turkey or something. Complete mayhem. But we need to move in that direction because our minds are evolving to a point where we are understanding this limitation and are asking for more freedom.

Freedom is not a finite place. It’s an evolutionary process.

I think back to the last chapter and how we use military strength for enforcing rules. For those people who have trouble with the laws,  they are going to have trouble with the laws regardless of whether or not there is a law. Sometimes they are breaking the law just because there is a law, and it annoys them that there is this law, this limitation. It is a barrier and they don’t like the barrier, so they just go over it. I think it is good to look at rules and consider how they serve people.

On our road to peace, we need to be conscious of what we should drop along the way.

What do you think of all this? Please share your comments in the space below!

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: 32 – The Road of Peace

  2. These are the things I write about, I want people to think for themselves and break out of their boxes even if they have been self imposed. i want them to think about who they are, what brings them joy. it has took me 52 yrs and a bout of depression to find out who I am and more importantly who I am not. I move towards the things that make me feel good, I own who I am and I have never felt more alive. I am now the writer I always wanted to be, I am following my joy. Thank you for your post for caring enough to make a difference and for trying to take people with you on your journey.
    Athena Brady recently posted…A snapshot of Marilyn Monroe, a dumb blonde or an insightful, intelligent, spiritual, young victim?My Profile

    • My breath jumped a bit reading this, Athena. Powerful and dear. Thank you so much for saying that. I think that all of us who blog and write about topics super dear to our hearts want so much for our words to tap people deep and change them somehow. I think that we are naturally drawn to the people who help us to get there for ourselves so I appreciate your being in my Universe.

  3. Pingback: Nature: Our Best Teacher

  4. for me naming anything takes something of the magic away from it,
    for example recently i saw a robin in my garden ,i imagined I had seen it for the first time,and did not know what it was called,I had this beautiful bird with a red breast names are just labels we put on things to make life easier,

    at times I find its best to admire ,the beauty. and forget the name,

    • That is a cool exercise, Sean. It is fun to imagine what aliens would think visiting our world for the first time. I just got home yesterday from 10 days in Costa Rica. It felt a bit like being an alien, coming home. There were lots of birds that I could not identify in Costa Rica and some that I thought I knew what they were (possibly parrot or parakeet), but could not see well enough to confirm and only had the sound to indicate for sure. Ah well. Life is better unlabeled. Fresher, somehow.
      amy recently posted…What is Your Spiritual Practice?My Profile

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