Check out the Audio Version on my podcast Upon Awakening: https://anchor.fm/matthew-whiteside/episodes/Tao-Te-Ching-Day-8-Letting-Go-e10ch52
“Gold and jade fill up the room, no one is able to protect them. Wealth and position bring arrogance, and leave disasters upon oneself?”Tao Te Ching- Chp. 9
This passage has been sitting on me all day. I am holding on desperately to the things in my life that I treasure. Like Lao Tzu writes, “no one is able to protect them.”
So much of the Tao Te Ching, is teaching me of the passing of all things. The letting go of self attachment that keeps us stuck and also gets us lost in suffering. The suffering created by holding on to things not meant to last.
I am in a precarious place in my life as I sit in my room and write, I am surrounded by so many incredible treasures that I worked so hard to acquire knowing that at any moment they could be taken away. It is why we have locks on all our doors. It is why we have to safe guard our bank accounts and credit cards.
These treasures that we have, this work that we possess is going to be gone and the harder I hold on to it the more likely I make that a reality.
The truth is, holding on to material wealth and possessions is exhausting and it cost me more than it truly gives me. So, why do I hold on then. For status? For comfort? Why not give it all away? Why not be done with that which imprisons me?
I sit here chained to all that I have, because I belong to it.
“Cut open doors and windows to create a room, in its emptiness, there is the function of a room. Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit. That which is empty is used to create functionality.”Tao Te Ching – Chp. 11
These things that surround me benefit me only as long as I have space for them. The time has come to make space for something new. To open myself to the reality of my own functionality.
To be a space for that which I truly treasure, not worldly treasures that consume and have no deeper benefit. But, become the place of functionality that lends it self as a channel for the source of things.
These things that I have treasured, will be taken one way or another. They will pass, I can let them go willingly or I can hang on, kicking and screaming, wasting what would be useful time allowing something more to take its place.
“So one who values the self as the world can be given the world. One who loves the self as the world can be entrusted with the world.”Tao Te Ching – Chp. 13
If I have no value for myself out side of that which I possess I am not fit to have anything. If I can not love myself with out attaching to some worldly thing to do so I can not be trusted to care for anything.
Be still here first. Be with me first. Love and honor that which I am first and all else will be given in accordance with this Law of nature. If I treasure my treasure more than myself than it creates thieves and greed by those that want it.
I must realize I am the source of all these things in my life. With out me here they do not exist and would never exist. Remember that you are the source of all the treasure in your life.
That the things that surround you, no matter how expensive and beautiful would not be there with out you. You are the room, the space for them. We are the emptiness.
One can not steal what is not capable of possessing. Therefore do not be possessed by things out side of you. Let go of everything and make room to be filled.
All that exists, exists with in us. Let go and return again to source.
To be like the Tao we must let go.
“The Tao is empty, when utilized, it is not filled up. So deep! It seems to be the source of all things.”Tao Te Ching – Chp. 4
I don’t know how else to say this, but in writing this, there is a great pain inside of me. This process hurts on a level I was not prepared for. I feel sick, I feel tired, I feel like I am purging something inside of me that has existed for a long time and is not willing to come out.
However, I will continue, because I choose to.