Reflections on Chapter 70 of the Tao Te Ching:
My words are very easy to understand
and very easy to practice.
Yet no one has the ability to understand them
or practice them.
My words come from the source.
My actions are disciplined.
Most people do not understand this.
They are not aware of my teachings.
The ones who understand my teachings are rare.
The ones who follow my teachings are treasured.
Therefore, the sage dresses plainly,
concealing precious gems.
Things are very simple to understand. Amen.
As I’ve explored the Tao over the last year, I realized that we always know what it is that we need to know. It’s not that we don’t know. That’s not the issue. We act like that’s the issue, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that we don’t want to do the things that we are supposed to be doing. We want to take the easy road and do the things that are easy and fun to do and not the things that we know are right to do. Besides perhaps Mother Theresa and a few others, most of us do this.
A lot of it is mindset.
Take weight loss, for example. We know what to do. Everybody knows. You need diet and exercise. There shouldn’t be 80 million diet programs out there. But the reason why there are 80 million diet programs out there is because we need to have something complicated so we have some excuse for not doing it.
We just need to do the simple thing.
That is why the Tao Te Ching has lasted as long as it has! It is just SO SIMPLE! It doesn’t need a lot of elaboration. I am doing all of these essays on it, but these are really just my thoughts and a fun way to get the discussion going.
It’s all been said. Everything’s been said.
My series on stillness and my series on awareness, these are basic principles of Taoism. These are simple basic things. We all know that they are good. We all know that we need them. You can look at any person at any part of the globe and they understand that these things are important.
They are universal things.
I think that is what has always attracted me to Taoism is the fact that these principles make sense across any belief system. I have been raised in a primarily Christian culture in the U.S. There is so much that can be learned by being open to other groups of people, being open to seeing that there is more than one way of looking at spirituality.
Some people say “Taoism is the way.”
I don’t really choose to put a label on it like that because it scares people off. I could just as easily be Christian and saying the same thing with the same principles and it would be the same thing but would appeal to a different set of people. I could speak Bible verses of where Jesus talked about awareness and being still. “Be still and know that I am God.” OK. Same thing!
You don’t have to put a label on things.
In fact, the labels tend to get people confused. The labels tend to put things in a box and people are like, “Oh, but it’s not in this box, so it’s not my thing.” I read some Buddhist stuff and I think, “This is cool!” I read some Bible stuff and I think that Jesus was amazing! He had some really amazing things that he taught people.
I am sure that Jesus got plenty frustrated
at people complicating simple truths as well.
What Jesus said was really very simple but people make it complicated so they don’t have to do it. We all do that. It is the human way. It is our job to be messy and screw things up and then play the game of making them right again. It’s all OK. We just don’t have to take the game too seriously.
Let’s have some fun with it!
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