“The Tao of Heaven:
Does not contend and yet excels in winning
Does not speak and yet excels in responding
Is not summoned and yet comes on its own
Is unhurried and yet excels in planning
The heavenly net is vast
Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through”TTC 73 (Lin)
How can such a paradox as this exist? That it is both- and, neither-or, yes-no, this-that, is a mind boggler if I have ever seen one. But it’s only when I try and make sense of such a thing that it is mind-boggling.
The Heavenly Tao is without any form and any meaning. It simply is. It’s hard for me to fathom anything as not having meaning or purpose yet the Tao exists in this way.
I will compare it to a work of art. The artist may not have had any idea why the painting needed to be painted, only that they felt like painting it, and not until it was taking form did purpose arise, but not from the image. The purpose arose from the already formed thing that was the painter.
The Tao is said to be the formless, is it a wide net? Yes. Is it loose but catches everything? Yes.
Is it able to accomplish anything without doing anything? Yes.
Is it the evil of the world? Yes.
Is it the good? Yes.
Is it familiar and unfamiliar? Yes.
Is it you and me? Yes.
It is the great Yes and. My improv fans will enjoy that one. The Tao does not discriminate, and because of this, it says yes to light and dark, good and bad.
It is why it seems like a paradox, but in reality, makes perfect sense. It allows all things and is all things.
The paradox is three letters Y.E.S
One thought on “Tao Te Ching Day 79: Yes And…”
You hit on two elements of basic Taoist principle here. First is the whole Yin-Yang concept; opposing forces balanced and nurture each other. The second is the whole “Water” idea; be flexible and adapt to new situations as they require; flow with them.