Link will take you to the audio of the article: https://anchor.fm/matthew-whiteside/episodes/Tao-Te-Ching-Day-1-Infinite-Imigination-euebh5
A person sits quietly in meditation. The unmoving, unchanging expression on their face disguises the universe being created inside of them.
A world of chaos and beauty stirs around them as they sit and breathe in the invisible life force.
I have spent a fair amount of time reading and working to understand the Tao Te Ching, and in that time, I have realized that my understanding does not result from me thinking more diligently about the text. Instead, it is a practice of feeling the text without senses.
Today, on the day of my birth, I embark on a 365-day journey into the Tao.
Each day I will read the book and then do my best to interpret my understanding of the book. I do not propose to be an expert of any sort, and my only hope is to deepen my knowledge of the source of creation.
I hope you find what you are looking for here, and I hope that we all let go of what we desire a little more each day.
I am spoken to inside of an empty room. I am not even present in this room, yet space is created for me.
Day one of reading the Tao brought up a simple thought, IMAGINATION. The Tao Te Ching says, “the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”
I will be honest a lot of the book is confusing as hell, but I believe that is the point. To break our minds of its old pattern recognition and see the true pattern in the Universe.
The Tao, I believe, is speaking to the amorphous form of imagination. When reading the book, I had a distinct vision of the big bang as the universe began. However, this vision was different; it wasn’t simply matter exploding from nothing; it was a person sitting down to meditate. In the darkness of my mind, I saw into the darkness of their mind and from that nothingness, from the stillness of a moment of meditation sprang forth all of creation.
If anyone has ever meditated, they can speak to this sense of thoughts exploding to life almost at an unfathomable rate. Most people do not make it past the first explosion before standing and getting on with their day, and rightfully so.
The big bang that appears in our mind during a moment of meditation is seismic and can, in many cases, shake the foundation of our Universes as we are shown all the terrible, horrible, nasty things that transpire in the past and future.
The beauty of the vision I had was that the bang of creation or imagination does not stop once we arise from meditation. On the contrary, the truth of the matter is that we were and are The Bang. No amount of doing anything will take us from the source of that creation.
We are the imagination.
However, if we are unwilling to allow ourselves to deal with the hell of the moment of creation as trillions and trillions of particles and atoms collide to create something new, in a hell storm of fire and destruction, we keep our minds in that time and space so to speak.
The Tao, like the imagination expands, never ceasing. It contains and welcomes all things, so says the Tao Te Ching. In which case, we can focus on the bang, or we can focus on the continued ordering of the expansive chaos.
Talk about a brain full.
Where our focus flows, our energy goes. So, if we find ourselves in the chaos, realize that we only must sit and see past the chaos to the glory of all the beautiful creation.
The lesson I received today was to exist through the chaos and know that all things flow to the Tao. So, as I remain still amid the storm, I am being carried to gentler waters.
But, I don’t want anyone to try and understand this with their mind. The point is to feel it. To feel the chaos at the beginning of your silent meditation and watch as it all fades and orders itself the longer we sit and breathe in the silence.
To me, this is understanding the Tao, not in mind but practice. The Tao Te Ching also says that you can not try and be one with the Tao; you simply are.
I feel that there is so much more to say here about day one. The interesting thing to note also is that, like the expansiveness of the imagination, the ideas about the Tao continue to flow unending for eternity.
Thanks for reading; the Tao is yours.