Twenty-Ninth Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Twenty-Ninth Chapter

Twenty-Ninth Chapter

Twenty-Ninth Chapter:
Tao-te Ching

Do you think that you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe that it can be done.
Universe is a totality in itself. It cannot be improved or controlled.
Trying to control leads to ruin.
Trying to grasp leads to loss.

Let your life unfold naturally.
Know that it too is complete in itself.
There is time for being ahead.
And there is time for being behind.
A time for being in motion and a time for being at rest.
A time for being strong and a time for being exhausted.
A time for being safe and a time for being in danger.

The sage discards the extreme, the extravagant, and the excessive.
For him all of life is a movement toward perfection.


As I understand it:

What has happened so far in our lives and what could happen to us in future is outside of our ego’s domain. The days of our lives unfold the way a bud blossoms into a flower. The routines are dull. The moments that originate from nowhere are the spice of our lives. Trying to control things is a sure way to get them out of our grasp.
Tao is not a controlling force. It flows everywhere, to the left and to the right. It does not force itself upon any one. It just nourishes. It does not feel superior. It is not power hungry and it does not have the all-consuming desire to control others. Your belief that you can control your life and lives of those around you is an illusion. Tao simply allows things to reveal themselves with perfect timing.
Reflect on the sacred nature of everything. Begin to recognize that every moment of your life is in accordance with the Tao. Be grateful for being exhausted and then rested, being scared and then feeling safe, being unloved and then cared for – the paradox is part of the natural law.
Step back and witness. Don’t command and control. Live naturally and learn to leave things that you love alone. Avoid the extremes. Live toward mellowness.


Suggested Readings:
The Way of Lao Tzu, tr. Wing-Tsit Chan, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.

Dyer, Wayne W., Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.

1 Comment
  • Madhu, this is something I’ve struggled with, but am gradually getting better at letting things unfold as they will, without making myself nutty over it. Well, not too nutty.

    Thanks for this.


    May 15, 2008 at 10:41 pm

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