Tao Te Ching Day 35: Virtues

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I went for a hike with my girlfriend today in a completely new space, to us. We had never before set foot in the area that we did today, prior to today.

Then I thought well that is always true. We never walk in the same place as the same person ever. Like the saying “the same man never walks in the same river twice. Because the man and the river both change”

Or the “Ship of Theseus” question. The ship of Theseus was built by Theseus each board sanded and nailed by the man. Years and years of sailing the ship needed repairing all the boards and pieces from the original ship now replaced by different people with different pieces, is it still the Ship of Theseus?

It’s an interesting question, and an even more interesting thought experiment when applied to ourselves. We are not the same cells that came into this world however many years ago we are copies of copies with memories encoded in the copies.

Which brings me to the Tao Te Ching.

“The sages have no constant mind

They take the mind of the people as their mind

Those who are good, I am good to them

Those who are not good, I am also good to them”

TTC 49 (Lin)

In living we have a choice each moment who we are to be. In each moment we can set our lives to the tune of past experiences and be what we have always been. Simply replaying life over and over again with new characters and new environments.

The Sage’s are giving a different perspective. They are saying, “what if, in each moment we do not live from some other time and place? What if we lived right here and now with the highest virtue?

We can see from our own personal lives that when we act from a place of hurt because we have been hurt by another we continue to get the hurt. Now with the idea that we are not the same people as we were a year ago, can we apply that to a moment ago, and become a completely new creation in this moment?

You see the Sages were some super wise people and they understood that remaining in a place of the highest possibility their DNA would continually rewrite itself from that place. When they based the way they lived on virtues and not past events that no longer exist, they created a space to change their entire being and so can we.

This is why people who make small but profound changes like not drinking anymore and being honest no matter what, have lives that become a really incredible and beautiful existence. I am speaking from personal experience here. I could not imagine how being kind, honest, loving, and tolerant would, one keep me sober, but two improve my life to the unimaginable level. But it has, oh it has and it’s incredible all because of simple virtues.

“Trustworthy people, I trust

Untrustworthy people, I also trust:

Te as Trust

TTC 49 (Addiss & Lombardo)

“Te” in this context is virtue or action of life. When we come from our highest space of existence regardless of circumstances our cells rewrite themselves and we build a new body. A body that is full of miracles. This is similar to work people like Dr. Joe Dispenza are doing in rewiring peoples minds through meditation and active visualization.

We can see that if we let go of our past information about the way life works and instead live in a perpetual Now state we can create a body and a mind attuned to the highest possibility. We never have to be the person that walked down a dangerous path again, or one of regret, we have the ability by living in virtue to rewrite our present moment.

It is an exciting proposition. We know that we already are copying cells that hold memories from past experiences and bring them to life in the present moment. So, the work then is letting go of the past experiences that no longer exist and no longer serve us in our life. Some times this means only seeing these experiences differently.

I now see my alcoholism as one of the greatest gifts that has ever been given to me, because of where it brought me. 3 years ago while trying to get sober, I believed it was a curse. But a curse that allows me to love my family more to be there for people in need more and to love my self fully does not sound like a curse to me.

Sometimes a reframe is all it takes.

Our physical body is a representation of all of our experiences expressing them self in human form. We have the choice to keep what we want and release what we don’t. We can Love people that do not love us because we are Love.

We can Trust people that do not garner Trust because we Trust ourselves.

We can be Good to people that are not Good to us, because we are Good to ourselves.

These Virtues are Keystones to rewriting our entire being. What a wild thing.

What will you choose?

“Sages create harmony under heaven,

Blending their hearts with the world.

Ordinary people fix their eyes and ears on them,

But Sages become the world’s children.”

TTC 49 (Addiss & Lombardo)

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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