I realized not long ago that the world is as sick as I find myself to be. Am I at odds with me? A question that should not need asking, as I am me, and I should rightly know the answer.
Yet, the human mind is a tricky place, it creates so many worm holes, delusions, and mirages, one can get lost on the wrong path by following a gentle breeze.
I have been at odds with in myself. I have been at war with my, yes and no, dark and light, yin and yang.
Use Tao to help rule people.
This World has no need for weapons,
Which soon turn on themselves,
Where armies camp, nettle grow,
After each war, years of famine.”TTC – Chp. 30 (Addiss & Lombardo)
I have picked up weapons against myself, in the form of self doubt, morbid reflection and holding on to fear.
Weapons do not always look like guns and bombs, sometimes the most subtle weapon any person posses is the weapons of self destruction. These weapons can be picked up at any time and used in any manor of ways.
Chapter 30, Lao Tzu, is speaking to the war that was, at the time of this writing, beginning to grip is home and his words were of course meant for those involved, but on a more subtle level they can be applied to any one of us as we embrace our light and dark.
The cure for war is not peace but compromise. Peace can be a side effect of compromise and as I attempt to compromise with myself I do so in hopes of bringing light and darkness together.
“Knowing the white, but keeping to the black.” As Chapter 28 of the Tao Te Ching refers.
I can reconcile these pieces of me that constantly war with one another each trying to grab hold of more land and over take the others strong hold. It is a battle all of us face, a subtle battle that plays out under the surface but brings about many destructive forces to the world.
The most fruitful outcome, does not depend on force,
But succeeds without arrogance. Without hostility,
Without pride. Without resistance. Without violence.TTC – Chp. 30 (Addiss & Lombardo)
In understanding the nature of the Tao I have come to understand that each thing has its time and place. There is time for assertion and there is time for acceptance.
The serenity prayer puts it this way. “God, grant me the serenity, to accept things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
True wisdom or mastery does not come from allowing one side or another to take precedence over the other because one is seen as good and one is seen as bad.
True mastery of one’s self is knowing when to assert and when to allow. This is also at the root of all war. Not allowing, when someone else is asserting because of pride, arrogance and holding on to what we believe we possess.
To possess anything is to be possessed by that which we own.
Lao Tzu, was also not advocating bending over and simply allowing others to come and kill you.
He also said that defending yourself can be necessary only when all other options have been tried.
To go to quickly to war by weaponizing ourselves against a perceived threat is the surest way to self defeat and damnation. We must be willing to hear both sides out, hold space for the waring nature with in us. If there is no diplomacy with in our own being there will be no peace outside of us.
I have been witness to my own destruction many times, in trying to correct by force that which I believe is wrong in me, only to find the axe swinging back at me. I have learned to give space to this pain and war that wants to rage in me. Allowing it time to breathe. It may seem like an urgent affair to correct the perceived wrong outside of us or with in us.
However, the clouds take time to pass and still the sun shines. The river slows after it reaches the bottom. Allow that which rages in you to settle before deciding.
The cost of war is much greater than the decision to remain a place of peace for a moment longer.
“If these things prosper and grow old,
This is called not – Tao.
Not – Tao soon ends.TTC Chp. 30 (Addiss & Lombardo)