Thirty-Second Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Thirty-Second Chapter

Thirty-Second Chapter

Thirty-Second Chapter:
Tao-te Ching

Tao is eternal. It has no name.
Though simple and subtle, none in the world can master it.

If kings and barons could harness named things, they would obey.
Heaven and earth would drip sweet dew.
Everyone would live in harmony, not by official command,
but by their own goodness.

When the Tao is divided into 10,000 things, it gets complicated.
Know when to stop.
Stop naming. Avoid peril.

Rivers and streams are born of the ocean,
and all creation is born of the Tao.
Just as rivers and streams flow back to become the sea.
10,000 things flow back to the Tao.


As I Understand It:

The Tao energy that courses through us all is good. If you follow its goodness life is simple. Simple and subtle is spiritual. But how do you live a life that is divided into 10,000 pieces? How do you live this complicated life in unison with the simplicity of the spiritual energy?
Although surrounded by fragmented pieces, envision a life that you desire. Think it. Feel it. Be grateful for what good you have already encountered. Keep riding the wave of that good while avoiding negative encounters. Pay attention to cues and clues that attract you towards goodness. The pointers will pull you away from passionless work. Don’t fight them. Let your thoughts and feelings guide you. Give up the life that forces you to follow drab rules and laws.
Let go and see where your passion leads you. Be sensitive to “coincidences.” Carl Jung called them “synchronicities.” He said they collaborate with your fate and steer you in a direction your heart wants to follow. Situations appear that you had not planned.
When the outer happening harmonizes with the inner goodness, the 10,000 things coalesce and become one. They become of the same essence as the eternal Tao.


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
  • I haven’t read the book “The Secret,” but I’ve heard so much about it from friends and media. The concepts you describe here seem to overlap with those of “The Secret” — perhaps the book borrows a lot from the Tao.

    June 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm

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