Tao for Today; Verse 4
The Tao Te Ching is a philosophical text written by Lao-tzu, a philosopher and historian, during the time of Confucius. This text, written in two parts, with eighty-one short sections, serves as a philosophical guidepost. The term "Tao" means way or path. In many philosophical works, this term refers to a calling. In the Tao Te Ching, the term Tao refers to a much larger metaphysical principal, a universal oneness, from which all things come, and to which all things return. While "Tao", is a path, and a way, the meaning is much broader, encompassing and mysterious. The term "Te" refers to the moral power and virtue associated with one who follows a correct path. In the Tao Te Ching, Te refers more to the virtue one gains by following Tao, the way. The perennial wisdom presented within the Tao Te Ching seems mysterious and complex with first reading. Upon further inspection, meaning recedes further, until the text seems convoluted and impossible to understand. Such is the mystery of Tao. Rather than wrestle with meaning, absorb the words and let the Tao speak to you.
Tao is empty-
Its use never exhausted.
The origin of all things.
It blunts sharp edges,
Becomes one with the dusty world.
I don't know whose child it is.
It is older than the Ancestor.
Consider the sky. It's vastness continually changes. Staring into the blue depths of a cloudless sky one might see emptiness. The Sage realizes the fullness of the sky, like the fullness of Tao, is inexhaustable and always changing.
Stare into the depths of another persons eyes. Without fear, the Sage faces another eternal soul.
At birth the Sage is filled with unlimited possibilities. The world imposes restriction. Tao frees the Sage and opens one to endless possibility and mystery. The Sage challenges worldly limitation. Not with fear or force, the Sage moves forward through limitation, realizing the depths of eternal Tao.
The Sage is aware of infinity. Our lives are not confined to the identity of a physical body. Who we are exists with the timeless Tao.
The infinite Tao provides all we need. The sage experiences life as infinite. Awareness of Tao allows the Sage to rest in completeness. Without fear, the sharp edges of the constrained body smooth into the gentle curves of the eternal Tao.
Today, release fear. Do not limit yourself with the physical world. Realize that who you are will continue long after your body has ceased it's journey.