Friday, 13 January 2012

Verse 46


When a country is in harmony with the Tao
running horses are retired to till the fields.
When a country runs counter to the Tao
warhorses are bred outside the cities.

There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater curse than covetousness,
no greater tragedy than discontentment;
and the worst of all faults is wanting more - always.

Contentment alone is enough.
Indeed, the bliss of eternity
can be found in your contentment.

War is counter to the very nature of the Tao. Its root lies in fear, the need to defend oneself (or, as is usually the case, simply one’s beliefs and viewpoints), greed, discontentment and our pathological craving for more and more. These cancers of the mind can lead us to conflict, war and eventual ruin.

Lao Tzu tells us that to be content with what we have is the key to the “bliss of eternity”. Contentment sows the seeds of happiness; never of conflict and war.

So can we let go of the need to make ourselves right and others wrong? Are we able to relinquish greed and grasping and simply be content with what we possess?

This could well be the choice between living in heaven and living in hell. It’s our choice – a choice we can make each and every moment of our lives.

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