Tao Te Ching Day 15: Duality

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Duality is layered heavily within the teaching of the Tao. You want light, you must accept heavy. You want joy, you must accept sadness. You want pizza, you must accept calzones.

Alright, I don’t know about that last one, but you get the point.

Gravity is the root of lightness,

Stillness is the master of passion.

TTC – Chp. 26 (Addiss & Lombardo)

We can have all these things, I can experience epiphany and ecstatic love, but I must be willing to accept the fullness of the the other side of that coin, which seems to be great confusion and lonliness.

I have felt burdened and heavy the past two days, and it came right after a day in which I felt the full sunlight of the spirit. I felt like, insight after insight came to me without effort and all of existence made sense.

The next morning (yesterday) was misery. I had lost it all and could barely figure out how to put my shoes on, or why I should put them on for that matter.

And, so I am left with the Tao Te Ching, staring me in the face with it’s lesson’s of the sage.

The Sage travels all day, But does not leave the baggage-cart.

When surrounded by magnificent scenery remains calm and still.

TTC – Chp. 26 (Addiss & Lombardo)

At first I didn’t know what to make of this passage, but as I sat with my own insanity in the context of feeling enlightened, and then like a brick covered in shit with legs, I realized this was the lesson.

You want lightness, well get ready for that heavy-ass yoke. Gravity exists in this way. You want passion, learn to tame it with stillness.

The same passion that speaks love and light into people can turn into hate and distrust if not tempered.

The Sage does not leave the baggage cart- meaning they are not moved by the goings on of all that is happening around them. Even when there is something magnificent, they remain calm. Because to lose the center even in the direction of what feels amazing is to open ones self to that which feels terrible.

The Sage knows their requirement is to being the stillness and peace of something other than what is outside of them. To get caught up in the shiny, glittering things is not the job of a Sage or anyone that would like to be a channel of peace.

We can not channel peace as we fly off at any fancy thing. We must not become slaves to our own thoughts.

Which is why I find the next few lines fascinating, because they speak to exactly that.

When a lord of ten thousand chariots behaves lightly in this world,

Lightness loses its root, Passion loses its master.

TTC – Chp. 26 (Addiss & Lombardo)

If you have such heavy responsibility, say as to that of being in charge of ten thousand chariots, running off at a whim to do something frivolous leaves many in danger.

Knowing the responsibility of gravity we must remain centered. In the center all is available, yet we guard against being crushed by heaviness and floating off with lightness.

It is not a demand of anyone to live in this way. However, when I feel the heaviness that comes after such an enlightening time, I wonder if it is worth being thrown so far off course. Would remaining in the middle not be the wiser choice? And if not for wisdom, why else am I studying 2500 + year old texts?

Duality, is a reality, whether we like it or not. Take the lesson or be lost to it. Either way we are dealing with two sides of the same coin.

Balance is key.

Happy Day.


Published by Matthew Whiteside

I am a writer, a storyteller, a yarn-spinning freakazoid. My life is full of two things today, lessons and blessings. I write fiction mostly but I also love to write about my life and the things I go through on a daily basis. Writing it out inspires and motivates me and that's why I do it. Plus if it does that for me maybe it will for someone else too.

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