Tao Te Ching Day 37: The Broad Path

If I have a little knowledge

Walking on the great Tao

I fear only to deviate from it

The great Tao is broad and plain

But people like the side paths

TTC 53 (Lin)

Yesterday was a day. It was a good day, a long day, an exhausting day, a frustrating day and a wonderful day. It had everything.

I worked for 11 hours. In between work I was at the dentist for 2 1/2 hours. I read the Tao twice, had what felt like a hundred conversations all about the Tao and yet still I felt I was off the path yesterday.

Lao Tzu says if he knows anything it’s that the path of the Tao is wide and easy to follow, unfortunately we as people love going down those strange back alleys and side paths with snakes and poison ivy everywhere.

I can appreciate what makes them so attractive is that in my egoic state of being a side path represents a choice to prove that I can out smart all of creation. That the source of me, the all powerful thing that created me does not have equal intellect to that of mine.


I have been shown time and again just how easy and wonderful life can be when I just let go of my own will to seemingly destroy my self in a quest to find myself, while the Tao is lighting the path forward saying “you are here and are eternally moving towards who you are, no need to struggle.”

Then I say, “ yeah but then how will my life hold any meaning if I don’t struggle, if I don’t blaze a new path?”

And I can stop and see that a story I have for myself is that struggle equals meaning. If I am to find meaning for myself then I have to struggle.

If studying the Tao has taught me anything, it is that the exact opposite is true. In fact to find your self we have to let go of struggle so that we can become what we were meant to be.

The next few lines in this chapter are interesting. I imagine the scene from the Bible when Jesus went into the temple and saw the money collectors and began over turning tables and telling people off for making a mockery of his fathers house.

Let’s watch.

The courts are corrupt

The fields are barren

The warehouses are empty

Officials wear fineries

Carry sharp swords

Fill up on drinks and food

Acquire excessive wealth

This is called robbery

It is not the Tao!

TTC 53 (Lin)

Look at that rage 😂. But seriously Lao Tzu is pointing to what happens when we follow our own will and not the Tao. We become unnatural and unharmonious in our actions towards one another.

Every decision is a selfish decision. Every action is to fatten our wallets or our stomachs. Life stops mattering and things begin to take its place.

Any way. Use this as a reminder when you feel you are struggling and disconnected, remember the path is wide. So look down at your feet to see which direction you are headed, I had to do that today and I am glad I did.

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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