Saturday, 11 February 2012

Verse 77


The Tao works in the world
like the drawing of a bow.
The top is bent downward,
the bottom is bent up.
It adjusts excess and deficiency
so that there is perfect balance.

The Tao takes from excess
and gives to that which is depleted.
The way of many people is to take from
those who do not have enough
and give to those who have far too much.
Who is able to give to the needy from their excess?
Only someone who is following the way of the Tao.

The Master can keep giving
because there is no end to her wealth.
She acts without expectation,
succeeds without taking credit
and does not glory in any praise.

To live in alignment with the Tao is to live in balance. Life naturally exists in a state of perfect balance; you need only look at the natural world to see that.

On the other hand, the average human mind – which has lost all trace of the natural balance – doggedly pursues its own agendas, which are invariably rooted in self-interest and disregard for the whole. This is why the rich strive to get ever richer, often exploiting the poorest of people in order to do so.

Anyone who lives in such disconnection from the Tao and from the natural laws is bound for a life of continual misery and discontent, for themselves and everyone around them. Those that have never discovered the joy of giving and being of service to others live a tragic life indeed. We all must endeavour to give at least as much as we take, for this is the natural balance of life. This is the way of the Tao.

1 comment:

  1. A closer look reveals that the world is never in perfect balance.
    It is always in a state of moving towards imbalance, but that it always re-balances itself, in auto-correction.
    Volcanoes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, subsidences, up-thrustings.
    It sorts itself out, like a tai-chi practitioner: constantly adjusting to maintain balance, while being always about to topple.
    Always there is paradox.