Saturday, 4 February 2012

Verse 73


The Tao is always at ease.
It does not compete, yet overcomes,
does not speak, yet responds,
does not command, yet is obeyed,
and does not act, yet accomplishes all.

Its net covers the whole universe;
its mesh is coarse,
yet nothing slips through.

Why is the Tao always at ease? How can it possibly overcome without competing, respond without speaking, secure compliance without commandeering and accomplish without acting? Is it possible for us, as expressions of the Tao, to live in a similar manner?

The closing lines offer some insight. The Tao’s ‘net’ pervades the entire universe and nothing slips through it. In spite of all the comings and goings, highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies of phenomenal existence, the Tao is constant, and our ‘return’ to it is assured. It’s never in question.

Furthermore, we don’t have to do anything. The Tao does all. Every thought that we think, every word we utter, every action we undertake comes not from ‘us’, but ultimately from the creative energy that infuses and sustains the entire universe. We are not separate from it. The more we let go, the more we can see that, of ourselves, we do nothing. We’re being done by the Tao.

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