Tao Te Ching Day 81: Walking Each Other Through Hell

“Therefore, an inflexible army will not win

A strong tree will be cut down

the big and forceful occupy a lowly position

While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place.”

TTC 76 (Lin)

I had a thought today (only one), and it struck me as profound to everything I have been living recently. Some background is necessary for today’s blog.

The past month here is what has happened.

  • Had a falling out with my dad
  • Spent an amazing week with my kids
  • Started a Graduate program
  • Started a new job as a Football Coach
  • In the last month of a Peak performance Coaching program
  • Working on a Teacher Certification to teach in High School
  • Committed to chairing meetings every week
  • picked up a new sponsee

It is interesting when I list it out like that in just short little blurbs; it doesn’t feel nearly as overwhelming as it actually has been.

The exciting thing is that I have not felt terribly overwhelmed as often as maybe I am putting on. It has been highly emotional, exhausting, expanding, and exciting (it has only been words that start with E). It has been a miracle as well; I am amazed that I have handled it as well, as I have to be honest.

I am not tooting my horn; by the way, I am trying to make a point about the Tao Te Ching. My point is that being flexible, yielding, and, you know, like a gelatinous goo basically, I have managed to stay sober and, in some ways, thrive and find fullness and joy in life that I had never experienced before.

I also have such an incredible support system of people that love and care about me and that I love and care about. These people help me walk through the insanity of life on days when I do not think I can make it.

Which brings me to the title of this blog.

Relativity of simultaneity: “Two events, simultaneous for one observer, may not be simultaneous for another observer if the observers are in relative motion.” (Theory of Relativity- Einstein, 1905)

In lamens terms, we do not all experience the same event(s) the same way.

Here is why it matters. When I experience a traumatic event, I am affected in a profoundly emotional way, known as suffering. Now another person could experience the same event, but because of their life experience thus far, it does not cause any trauma and, therefore, no suffering.

Example: When I was a little kid and watched Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp, I was traumatized by the scene with the siamese cats. Why? Because relative to my experience thus far in life (apparently, I had never seen a cat), those monster cats scared the living shit out of me, along with that devil song they sang.

I have since watched the same scene and did not feel the nightmarish fear that I distinctly remember having as a child.

So, what changed?

What changed was my relative position to seeing singing cats, obviously.

This relative experience tells us this. When someone experiences a deep trauma that causes them great suffering, it does not have to meet a certain standard of horribleness to be considered as a trauma.

Because suffering is a very personal experience.

However, because we all suffer, we all know suffering well. My cat scenario as a child, if put on a scale and compared with someone who had something horrible done to them as a child, could have possibly ranked as equal.

And this is all because of relativity. If we can understand this about relativity, we can all help one another through suffering.

How do we help?

Let’s go back to the Tao Te Ching, “The soft and yielding are followers of life.” (pg. 76) And, “While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place.” (pg. 76)

Being more understanding and compassionate to the truth that your suffering is equal to every other humans suffering that has ever existed, no matter how it may appear to anyone else.

When we become more compassionate and understanding (I believe this is what soft and yielding refers to), we take each other by the hand instead of facing the Hell of suffering alone; we begin to walk through it together.

If you can imagine we were born and sent down from a place of paradise to experience life and find our way back to heaven, we can begin to see that as we grow, looking at service to others is the way back.

When we wake up to the reality that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here, then we see that each one of us that has woken up has the ability to take the hand of those suffering and walk with them in love and understanding of their suffering until they can see that they have made it out of Hell and are once again in the Kingdom of Heaven.

We can all walk each other home. All we must do is understand Theoretical Physics, Einstien’s Theory of Relativity, The Tao Te Ching, The Gospels of Jesus Christ, The Teachings of the Buddha, and Our Selves.

It’s super easy, ya dumb-dumbs.

With Love, Healing, Heart, Pizza, and Taco’s

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.

One thought on “Tao Te Ching Day 81: Walking Each Other Through Hell

  1. The sole reason we are here…to connect to others with love and compassion. That is how we connect to the God within us. Beautiful


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: