The Tao Te Ching: Verse Forty-One

Higher people hear of the Tao, they diligently practice it
Average people hear of the Tao
They sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it
Lower people hear of the Tao, they laugh loudly at it
If they do not laugh, it would not be the Tao

Therefore a proverb has the following:
The clear Tao appears unclear
The advancing Tao appears to retreat
The smooth Tao appears uneven
High virtue appears like a valley
Great integrity appears like disgrace
Encompassing virtue appears insufficient
Building virtue appears inactive
True substance appears inconstant
The great square has no corners
The great vessel is late in completion
The great music is imperceptible in sound
The great image has no form
The Tao is hidden and nameless
Yet it is only the Tao
That excels in giving and completing everything

                                                                Lao Tzu

This Forty-First Verse of the Tao serves as words of recognition to those who have made a commitment to live a life in synchrony with the Great Oneness. It recognizes the challenges and benefits of such a choice.

You certainly invite others to think that you are in essence, abdicating your right to self- determination in favor of passively letting life just happen to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aligning yourself with the Universe is an active choice for peace and harmony and serves to focus the strength of your personal power in a very specific manner.

You choose to accept that you are a good person worthy of love, forgiveness and inclusion in the Great Oneness. You choose to believe unconditionally in the essential goodness of your being. You choose to resist your innate dualistic, judgmental nature in favor of embracing your birthright of citizenship in mankind with a compassionate heart fully aware of the strengths and shortcomings we all share.

You choose to work through your ego-driven need to make yourself the center of everything you do and to let go of the neurotic self-imposed suffering that that behavior causes. You choose to let go of the need to try to fix everything and to allow each person in your circle to walk their own Path.

You choose Mindful living which is far from the easy choice. It demands gentle introspection into your darkest corners, frank discussions with that parts of yourself that would rather not face and a good deal of discipline to practice daily Silence. Choosing an awakened life lived in synchrony with the Universe (Tao) takes a daily reaffirmation of faith and courage but the outcome is priceless.

2 thoughts on “The Tao Te Ching: Verse Forty-One

  1. Phyllis…you have the most thought provoking site. Your comments about “Aligning yourself with the Universe is an active choice for peace and harmony and serves to focus the strength of your personal power in a very specific manner….work through your ego-driven need to make yourself the center of everything you do and to let go of the neurotic self-imposed suffering that that behavior causes. You chose to let go of the need to try to fix everything and to allow each person in your circle to walk their own Path. You chose Mindful living which is far from the easy choice. It demands gentle introspection into your darkest corners, frank discussions with that parts of yourself that would rather not face and a good deal of discipline to practice daily Silence.”

    I experienced what you are talking about Friday by having faith and trusting…it was amazing! Of course I stuggled with my ego…with deep breathing was able to quiet the thoughts in my head and focus on peace and harmony instead…it was difficult to let go and not “try” to “make things go my way” but it worked out SO MUCH BETTER in the end! AMAZING!!!

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