Tao Te Ching Day 65: Why Classifying Good and Bad is Useless

Therefore the good person is the teacher of the bad person

The bad person is the resource of the good person

TTC 27 (Lin)

I want to help people; I really have a desire to help people. Because I needed a great deal of help, other people’s service saved my life. I believe in teaching people to fish, not giving them fish; unless they are starving and need to eat first before the lesson.

I start by saying I want to help people because I find myself in a situation where the person that exemplifies all the ways in which I find myself qualified to help in this world, completely blocking me from helping them. Yet, they ask for me to help them, but only how they want to be helped.

It is infuriating to know so much better and to know that they know better, yet they do not do better out of their own unwillingness to save themselves. So, as they are free to do as they wish, I am stuck with the weight of my own inability to help in the way that I want to help.

It sounds like I am doing the same thing as the person that is unwilling to accept my help. Ram Dass said in a lecture, “my need to help people created a space where I needed people around that needed my help.” I can create the helpless people in the world by deciding that I need to be identified as a helper.

This is the meaning of “the bad person is the resource.” Even though I don’t think of people as bad or good, it is simply a sense of me looking for moral superiority.

“Can’t you see that the way I am living is THE WAY to live and the way you are living is for rats and other sewer dwellers?”

By me identifying as a helper, I am seeking out those that need help, but not just seeking them out I am creating them, in that no matter how they are, I can not see them as perfect as they are because if they were already whole, I could not be the helper I identified myself to be, so now I am trapped, and they are trapped with me.

“Good speech does not seek faults,

Good reckoning does not use counters

Good closure needs no bar and yet cannot be opened

Good knot needs no rope and yet cannot be untied.”

TTC 27 (Lin)

The great path is wide, means that all the ways in which people choose to use their consciousness and live their lives are entirely up to them. That is their freedom of choice.

Good speech and good knots, to me, mean loving as is. This is how my Dad (and yes, I am talking about my dad) chooses to live. He wants me to help him in the way he wants; it is not my place to force help on him that he does not want. If I can love him as is, I can be again with the Tao, as the nature of all things, even the nature of how he is living his life, are a part of the whole.

I wanted to write today about how I am “the good” teacher, and he is “the bad person,” but those labels are bullshit.

In reality, he teaches me how to accord with the Tao and the nature of all things by not labeling it good or bad, right or wrong.

The one who wants to learn does, the one who doesn’t teaches.

Forcing my will to help is no better than him forcing his will to not accept the help I want to give. I don’t need to try so hard to make things work the way I want them to. I also do not have to keep putting myself in unhealthy situations.

I have the choice to keep myself healthy and allow him to go the way he needs to go, and still love him as is.

Now it doesn’t mean I like this reality, but I can accept it.

The truth is it is freaking irritating dealing with someone that you know you are like in so many ways and watch them fall apart when you know their salvation is within their power.

I don’t have to like reality to accept it; I can focus on becoming the person that is better able to accept the reality of other people’s free will.

I find it hardest with those most like me. Because if I have to watch them fail to reach enlightenment, to attain peace and infinity in this lifetime, it means that I might not either, and that scares me.

I don’t like being scared.

So I will live in the way that I believe is best, and if it is so, maybe he will follow suit, or perhaps I’ll have to wait till we come back round again.

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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