Forty-Second Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Forty-Second Chapter

Forty-Second Chapter

Forty-Second Chapter:
Tao-te Ching

The Tao produced the one.
The one produced the two.
The two produced the three.
And the three produced the 10,000 things.
The 10,000 things carry the yin and embrace the yang,
They achieve harmony by blending the material forces.

People hate to be children without parents,
lonely people without partners,
or men without food.
Yet this is the way kings and lords once described themselves.
For one gains by losing and loses by gaining.

What others taught, I teach.
The violent and fierce do not die a natural death.
I shall make this the basis of my teaching.

As I Understand It:
The Tao is the one–the hidden force that brings all the creatures and substances into being. Each and everything, inanimate as well as animate, carry a feminine and a masculine principal that blends opposing forces in harmony.

We require parents, food, shelter and companionship in order to live a good life. But these necessities do not help us gain awareness. Attachment with people, possessions, position and power prevent us from being free. When we learn detachment we learn to live a new life that melts into the natural harmony. Living a harmonious life links us to our origin–the place we came from and to which we return.

If someone mistreats us, cheats us, wrongs us we react in anger and hate. At a time like this the feeling in our body is hateful. Become aware of that feeling. Take long breaths. Take your time. Feel forgiveness. Feel love. Imagine the person you hate or are angry at also having the capacity to feel the same kind of positive feelings. Notice your body again. How does it feel now? Doesn’t it feel different? This is the beginning of self-awareness. Feeling of flowing with the wisdom of the Tao.

A person who embraces the Tao and shuns hate and anger will live and die a natural death. But the person with violent thoughts will die a violent death. (When I wrote this section I was thought of M.K. Gandhi & M.L. King. Both the leaders taught and led a life of non-violence and peace but were killed violently. Perhaps the sage had not popular leaders but common people in mind.)

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.

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