Reflections on Chapter 71 of the Tao Te Ching:
Knowing that you do not know is the highest knowledge.
Not knowing what should be known is disastrous.
Only when she is sick of her illness can she be healed.
The sage is free of illness. She is sick of sickness and is therefore well.
Our current culture is obsessed with knowledge.
We’re obsessed. I must admit, I am one of them. We just love knowing things, but the truth is that people either don’t know anything and assume that they do or they assume that they don’t know the answer and they do.
At some point you realize that not knowing is the best place to be.
Lately, I have been going through my contacts and trying to work out who are my people. Who do I want to get closer to and spend more time with? (My chosen word this year is CONNECTION.) In this process of doing this, I have realized how much knowledge is out there in the people that I know and care about.
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and she was talking about all these different things that I didn’t know about her. I was just so grateful for having her in my life. It was amazing. If I had been in a place where I was like, “I already know that.” I couldn’t possibly have gotten even close to understanding what she was talking about because my cup would have already been full.
Not knowing what you should know can be disastrous.
Perhaps you might turn a blind eye to what is happening around you sometimes. The act of avoidance, or procrastination is common but can be disastrous. I will give you an example of this from my own life. I was driving the other day and my car was making a rattling noise. I knew I had to bring it into the shop but I didn’t want to bring it into the shop. I was procrastinating, so I let it go another day and kept driving and it kept getting worse. A couple of days later, I was driving and it got so loud that I got worried and pulled over.
I imagined all kinds of things in my mind of what it could be.
In my active imagination, it was the engine and I needed to buy a new car. As it turned out, it was the wheel that was loose. This was something that I should have known or I should have fixed right away but I pushed it out of sight instead like we sometimes do. It could have been disasterous.
I was so grateful.
It happened on the coldest day, but we were warm and dry. My daughter was in the car with me and we were fine. I had several people stop and ask me if I was OK, I had my AAA card so I felt better knowing they were there if I needed them. In the end, my husband came and helped me get it to the shop, but all I felt was this overwhelming sense of gratitude. So many things to be grateful for. I love my car. I don’t want to get rid of it. It was a good experience but a learning experience for me.
We have such an attachment to our problems.
Think about when someone is sick. I understand where it comes from because people want to show that they care, but have you ever noticed how when someone is sick, everyone zeroes in on them and showers them with attention? They talk about the illness or if someone is sick, they talk about their cold or their illness a lot. Everybody does this. It is human nature and normal. We are just showing that we care.
When we are sick of being sick and all that talk
and energy on being sick, we just get over it.
I noticed with myself if I am feeling under the weather, I try not to give it very much attention. I obviously do try to take care of myself, but I try not to talk about it too much. I try not to highlight it and put energy into it. It really just perpetuates the situation.
I’ve noticed this with my daughter.
When she was younger, she had so many sick days that I got called in by my supervisor. He said that I was taking too many sick days, so we had to work it out. It was getting ridiculous, so I spoke with my daughter and decided that, unless she was dying, she was going to go to school. I think that she may have been having some issues at school causing this, but for whatever reason, she did not want to go to school.
We were giving a lot of attention to her illnesses.
As a young child, she was seeing that and was probably enjoy that pampering that she was getting. It made me realize that I needed to care for her, but in a way that doesn’t relate to her sickness. We need to change this kind of automatic behavior and love each other for being well.
What about you? Was there anything in this chapter that spoke to you? Please let us know in the comments. Also, if you like this post and want to share it, please share it with the buttons at the top of this page. I appreciate it! Thanks for stopping by!