“In governing people and serving Heaven There is nothing like conservation
Only with conservation is it called submitting early
Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues.”TTC 59 (Lin)
In this translation of the Tao Te Ching the author Derek Lin notes that “Conservation is the principle of valuing your time, energy, mind, and spirit and also using them wisely.”
Where to begin? What is it about rainy days that makes every plan feel ruined? Unless of course the plan was to play in the rain.
Yeah I had plans today. I had plans to celebrate my son’s birthday and make him feel like a special little dude. It wasn’t long before those plans got rained on that I decided to let my good old friend Tao take over.
Turns out kids are pretty good at having fun with their friends wherever they are, even if it’s stuck inside an apartment. You know when kids don’t have fun? It’s when ex-kids like me try and get involved and make the day something it’s not.
Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome
When there is nothing that one cannot overcome One’s limits are unknownTTC 59 (Lin)
This chapter stuck out to me for this reason. I have a tendency to force things. That tendency is like swimming against the current. When I do that I become irritated, grumpy and ruin other peoples perfectly good day.
Accumulating virtues of conservation means that I am at peace with conserving the energy of mind, body, and spirit I did have. Let me set the scene.
It’s 11 o’clock. I had planned to be out of the house with my son and his friends by 10:30am . Rain was pouring like some one told the sky it’s dog died.
The kids are in their room playing video games as I sat on the couch stressed out and upset, my girlfriend trying to cheer me up says, “ come on let’s take them to the arcade I’ll go get them wrangled up.”
When all of the sudden, what do we hear, but the most joyous sound of laughter coming from inside the room. It was my son and he was having a blast.
I looked and my girlfriend and it hit me, “Matt, it’s time to go with the flow buddy.”
And so I did, I waited and laughter continued. As it turned out I was pretty tired, which was probably a cause of my irritation. So, I went and I took a nap while my kids played in the room and you know what? My kids had no idea I was sleeping, because they were to busy having a good time.
The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty
With this mother principle of power, one can be everlasting
This is called deep roots and firm foundation
The Tao of longevity and lasting visionTTC 59 (Lin)
Then something amazing happened, I woke up and felt great. Not only that, the rain stopped. Not only that, the kids came out and said let’s go play. Not only that, we went and had a freaking blast.
Now they are eating cupcakes and I’m writing this.
These virtues that are being accumulated are those that take Matt’s ego out of the equation and allow for the unknown that is spoken of in this chapter. I was reading this chapter when it hit me like a ton of bricks that I needed to just go with the flow of the Tao.
The Tao already had a perfect day setup, the only thing stopping it was me and my will. My will does not conserve, because my will is to afraid that if we are not constantly forcing life into existence it will never happen.
This chapter talks about possessing sovereignty and having a firm foundation. Meaning, if I am willing to see the flow of things and allow it to be based on my belief in the virtues of the Tao, anything is possible, even an awesome day that I didn’t have to make happen.
Again the effortless effort. How many parents out there would love to take a nap and just chill? I know my girlfriend and I were very happy we got to.