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Welcome to Tao Te Ching Today Episode 5. This week we talk about implementing Chapter 2 in our everyday lives. Let’s roll!
Welcome to Tao Te Ching Today where we talk about the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching and the Tao from Lao Tzu’s eyes. I’m your host, Sean Webb.
Ok so, last week we discussed chapter 2 and we read from a couple of different translations and discussed the meaning of chapter 2 so if you’d like to go back and review that, please feel free.
This week we’re gonna talk about implementing chapter 2 in our everyday lives. And if you remember in chapter 2 started out, “When the entire world recognizes beauty as beauty, this in itself is ugliness. When all the world recognizes good as good, this in itself is evil. Indeed the hidden and the manifest give birth to each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short exhibit each other. High and low set measure to each other. Voice and sound harmonize each other. Back and front follow each other” and so this message is one where you can’t have the good without the bad and you can’t realize the good as the good without the bad.
So is the bad actually bad? Well no. The bad isn’t bad. The judgment of your mind creating that badness is illusion and the reality is we’re here enjoying life and you’re having an awesome time even if you’re in that bad portion of not enjoying your life you pass through that bad portion of your life so that you can enjoy the good moments of your life. So is that bad? In reality, bad. Well, not from the Tao’s perspective. Not from the Tao Te Ching’s perspective, especially. Everything in existence is bliss. Everything in existence s wonderful because everything in existence comes as a package and you would not be able to make the mindful judgment that things are good unless you were to have experienced things that were bad. And so, all in short, up and down, high and low—they all complement each other. They all measure each other and they all create the possibility for us to enjoy not only the highs but also the lows as a portion of this perfect existence. And so how we translate that in to our everyday lives.
Let’s take for example, that person at work who just drives you up the freakin’ wall. You know… you just don’t get along and everything they say grates on you or maybe this is somebody in your family or maybe this is something in your extended friends network who is a friend of a friend and they’re always around and they’re always on Facebook or whatever and you just drives you nuts to have to listen to their statements or be present in their existence. Well, that person, the existence of that entity allows you to appreciate other people that much more. That person who is part of the grand scheme of existence allows you to enjoy the people that you like being around that much more. That person who drives you nuts sets the rule to measure your pleasure in other areas and other relationships. So the reality is, you need to look at that and look at that person thankfully and you need to cherish that person ironically for being that a-hole or that irritating person that you judge them to be. Because in the reality is not everybody judges them to be irritable, they’re a positive role in somebody’s life, if not their own. So who be better to appreciate that person.
You know when I was in sales long time ago I was the top sales rep in just about any company that I worked for. I was always upbeat and positive about the outlook of my sales funnel, even when it was empty and a lot of times… it was empty… and I came in with a haymaker hail-Mary at the very last moment to exceed quota and go to President’s Club… it was my old boss who told me if I were to be forced to write a business plan about my sales career, plan it would be 1) chase a bunch of leads 2) everything falls through, 3) no hope 4) a miracle occurs 5) exceed quota.
But the reality of that existence was I loved getting “NO” for an answer and I loved getting a quick “no” for an answer. Because getting a quick “no” for an answer, first from a statistical perspective, I mean you go through so many no’s before you get that “yes” and before you make that sale. And when you’re getting a quick “no”, you can get through those no’s much quicker to get to that wonderful yes that helps you make the income that you wanna make. And so the no’s in my professional career were cherished by me. And people thought I was sick! They’re like, “omigod, you like getting a “no” than everyone that I’ve ever met”. And I was like, “Yeah, because getting that no means that I’m that much closer statistically to that next yes.”
And I understood even back then before having passed in the enlightenment experience that the bad was a part of the good. And so, the reality in our daily lives today—the pile of emails that we have to respond to, the voicemails that we really don’t wanna deal with, the issues at work or issues in our family that we have to face, you know in various situations. You know recently I had to deal with moving my mother out of her house and putting her in to an assisted living facility that was not pleasurable for her. All of these things that we have to deal with on an everyday basis that maybe less positive in nature are beautiful because one, they allow us to recognize the beauty as beauty in our lives and set a measure to allow us to have a relative understanding of the positive things but the same time, all the negative stuff is part of this awesome existence that we all share and part of our awesome life that we are experiencing.
And so, in reading of chapter 2… the first portion, Indeed the hidden and the manifest give birth to each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short exhibit each other. High and low set measure to each other. Voice and sound harmonize each other—what we need to remind ourselves is that even in today’s busy, ugly , stress-filled world—all that negative stuff is actually helping us with our positive moments in life and thus needs to be cherished as well.
And so the second portion of chapter 2– Therefore the Sage dwells in non-active affairs and practices the wordless teaching. The ten thousand things arise, but he doesn’t begin them; He acts upon their behalf, but he doesn’t make them dependent; He accomplishes his tasks, but he doesn’t dwell on them; it is only because he doesn’t dwell on them, that no one can ever take it away from him.
That’s a reminder to simply plow through… you know, plow through not judging the good and the bad simply accepting all things, appreciating all things—appreciating the good, appreciating the bad and enjoying life. Because everybody with pain and suffering in your mind comes the attachments that you have in your mind and the judgments you are making in your mind and the thoughts you are having in your mind. Nothing is bad to the eagle, nothing is bad to the tree, nothing is bad to the rock and there is consciousness, there is life energy everywhere. There is nothing that is bad that is not judged so by the mind. So, when you’re going throughout your life and your daily activities judge less, accept more. Do the things that you need to do to forward your day and to forward your life and you know you don’t necessarily have to give up your goals or your ambitions or the things that you’d like to do.
You know… a minimal amount of attachment is required for this present day world, with this trading society, we’ll get in to that more later but if you do these things without judgment, without all of the mental baggage and you simply enjoy the task and enjoy the existence as it is. Hey, you know life can be a pretty awesome ride from that perspective. So if you think back in to your life and you think about all the things that you may have worried about in the past, did those worrying moments help you? at all? In any portion of your life? Well you’ll probably find that they didn’t. You’ll probably find that they were simply added stress to the situation that played out regardless of you worrying about it.
So when reviewing Chapter 2 and the actions of the Sage in our everyday lives, GO DO LIFE. Take a lot of the judgment out of it. Take a lot of the worry out of it. Take a lot of the regret out of it and you’ll find that you enjoy existence. A heck of a lot more than you did yesterday. I hope this helps.
Next week we’ll move in to chapter 3. Again if you like to get a free audio book from audible.com go to taotechingtoday.com/audible and get a free 30-day trial. They give you the audio book for free whether or not you sign up, it’s an awesome little deal. I’ve been a member for four years, I love them. Or you can pick up a copy of Tao Te Ching from one of our links on taotechingtoday.com that will take you to Amazon won’t cost you any more than you would if you would just go directly to amazon but if you use our link, we get a little bit of a commission for that so we do very much appreciate you doing that. Hope things are well for you. Talk to you next week, be well.