Tao Te Ching Day 28: What We Focus On

“Tao produces one,

One produces two,

Two produces three,

Three produce myriad things”

TTC 42 (Lin)

The first few lines of this chapter are in a way speaking of cellular mitosis. Where a single cell splits and becomes two, and two becomes three, and you get the point.

All life begins with the death of one, so that it may become two.

I had an interesting conversation today. I was out enjoying the day with my family when I received a call. The person on the other end of the phone was someone I love very much and have known all my life.

They were excited to talk to me. Excited to check in and see how life was going. I was excited to hear from them, until the subject of why they called came up.

“Did you see how many people are dying in India from the virus, you have to go and get a vaccination now.”

Now I don’t care where anyone stands on any of the current affairs in the world, I want everyone to have their thoughts and opinions.

What bothered me was the absolute fear of death happening around the world as reported by our friendly neighborhood news.

I asked them to refrain from telling me about what the news said and if they can’t then we can talk later, so we hung up.

Here is my issue. So many people spend so much time focused on things happening outside of them that are in fact scary to them, such as death. I get that people dying is sad and I wish no one got sick and died, but as it is the way of things, I move on.

My next thought was. I wonder if they even realize that they are alive and healthy? I wonder how much time today they spent in gratitude for their own health and life?

I did some research, each day our bodies replace 330 billion cells. That’s right, inside each one of us their are around 330 billion deaths of individual cells going on.

Isn’t that absolutely astonishing. Now if you didn’t know any better you might think, “Jesus, I should be dead at that rate how many can one person lose?”

But isn’t it interesting that we are alive and well for the most part. How do you think people would act if there was a news report every time a cell in your body was killed via elimination through one’s bowls. People would probably be pretty insane if that’s what they subjected themselves to.

Thank God that’s not the case, instead we focus on living and breathing and moving and loving. Again, some of us do any way.

If all this death is happening inside of us all the time yet here we all stand, what then does that also mean is true?

It means that new cells are constantly being born and in a higher number than the old ones are leaving.

Why are there no news stories about all the babies being born?

Why do we so easily choose to see the loss in life instead of the gain?

“Myriad things backed by yin and embracing yang.

Achieve harmony by integrating their energy.

TTC 42 (Lin)

All of the physical reality is backed by yin (life) and it embraces yang (death).

Living in this way all things are in harmony.

Death is apart of life even if it feels unfair. In this world many of us see death as a final happening and those who die are gone forever but I don’t believe this is true. I believe as we are with life in a relationship we will be with death in a new relationship but still in a relationship which means to exist.

We die, we lose, so new can be born. If the cells in our body never died and they just kept accumulating we would all be covered in giant tumors, which would kill us. Over growth of cells in the body is called cancer and it kills the body for which it resides.

I am saying all this to say, we have a choice on where we put our attention. We can live in the realm of death and loss while we are here, or we can live in life, light, and abundance. The choice is ours to make.

However, if you are going to call me I want you to know that I am focused on living and not dying.

I am not denying the reality and pain of death and loss. I am simply choosing to be alive here in my body, right now.

I do not choose to look at the fear and loss in this world as something that is killing us all. I see it as a light unto itself, giving life more flavor and purpose. In that way I can love deeper knowing my experiences inside may only be for this time and this moment.

We also have to see that our perspective is sometimes shown to us through a lens that only wants to keep us afraid and small.

In this harmony of yin and yang we can not allow one to out way the other. See death, deal with death, but live a beautiful, expansive life as well.

Don’t hold to one or the other.

“So with all things

Appear to take loss but benefit,

Or receive benefit but lose

What ancients taught I will also teach.

The violent one cannot have a natural death.

I will use this as the principal of all teachings.

TTC 42 (Lin)

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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