I’ve reached the final chapter in this “Walk through the Tao.” I have received immense benefit from this way of communicating. I’ve seen the Tao sink into my life in new and profound ways. I hope you have enjoyed walking with me. These videos will remain on YouTube and the links here on my website will remain. Explore them at your leisure.
I don’t charge for any of my work, but rely on donations. If you would like to contribute to my work, such as these videos, there is a donation link on this page. Thank you for walking with me, and I’ll see you down the road.
Chapter 80 says: A society should be arranged as a small village, content with the simple life. Technology may offer wonders without number, but they are seldom used. Vehicles may move with amazing speed, but they remain idle. Weapons may be sophisticated and deadly, but they remain locked away gathering dust. The moment to moment enjoyment of food and family, gardens and community, work and leisure, bring contentment and joy to life. One who lives this way will come to old age and death with the complete satisfaction of a fully lived life.
In order to learn from our mistakes, we must feel that life is fundamentally safe; that we will not face eternal divine punishment. Only in a sense of safety will I be able to refrain from denying, excusing, and covering up my mistakes. I am strong enough to carry regrets that enable me to remember and say, “I won’t do that again.” But I do not have to carry the shame that will only cause me to repress and fail to learn.
True relationships are founded, not the sharing of mutual strengths, but on the honest sharing of vulnerabilities, doubts, and fears. In a life that is fundamentally transient and therefore contains sorrow and loss, the facade and pretense of being strong and impervious just serves to keep us from the only true strengths and solaces we have – compassion, empathy, and love.
Charity is a natural quality of the human spirit. That is, charity in the best sense of the word that avoids condescension and patronizing. It is the ability to gently and creatively let any excess of money, things, and/or time find a flow into a dynamic balance. It is the same process of dynamic balance that sustains and maintains the very structure of the universe.
Tenderness and gentleness are natural qualities in everyone; but as we grow older we learn to be self-protective and afraid. This stiffens our spirits and hardens our bodies. Dead things are rigid, stiff and brittle things will break, but live things are soft and supple. Those who remain tender and gentle throughout their life are the truly blessed.
We all long for village community. Until we are able to bring it into a tangible outward form, we can keep it alive in our hearts, minds, and actions. Can you see your life as part of a village today despite the desperate attempts to distract you and keep you captive to a consumption culture? The village is alive within each of us. Let’s keep blowing on those small inner embers and keep them alive until the time arrives for a truly new world.
Killing another person is just the far end of the continuum of rash and hasty actions that arise because we are afraid. Our fear causes us to try to force, control, and eliminate anything that we think threatens us. The same process that causes us to cut our finger when the knife doesn’t easily slice an onion gives birth to war and killing. If we ease our fear and stop our urgency, we will no longer need to kill.
We take some sort of action every moment. We have intentions for the outcomes of those actions. Yet we can’t possibly control the infinite interactions that operate in each moment. We can’t control the short or long term effects of any of our actions. We mean for good, and harm results, then transforms into good later on, then… We cannot control nor should we be so narcissistic as to think we should. We simply take the next best step along our path and rest in the knowledge that it is all part of the Tao.
Rules and guidelines are essential for the development of human communities and culture. Where do these rules and guidelines originate? Are the imposed from without in order to train an inherently selfish being to somehow behave? Or are they elicited from within, forming and expressing qualities that are natural for the human being.