Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tao and Allowing

I bought Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts -- Change Your Life months ago and just now picked it up to read.  In the book, Dyer divulges readers with his study and construction of the Tao Te Ching and, by matching his always wisematic (yes, I made that up) words with modern living, tries to open readers to applying the Tao to their everyday life.  Or in a roundabout way, he simplifies the text.  So while I heard about the Tao Te Ching in the past (I believe throughout reading a Buffy theorist psychology book), I never really dived into the material.  I chose to stick with my Louise Hay--thank you very much--instead.  I only say so because it is much easier for me to grasp the concept of books like You Can Heal Your Life, as opposed to the Tao Te Ching, even under the massive intellect of Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Nevertheless, that probably goes for anyone who faces the two’s approach to maintaining a healthy spiritual life.

And that’s one reason  I was afraid to even write about the subject.  I looked through a couple of translations that differ from Wayne Dyer’s and was left pretty much unsure if I should attempt to try to understand any of it for myself.  Following those translations were comments by shaken people who swear one verse means this as opposed to that.  With that deterrent, you begin to wonder which is an authentic reflection of the ancient Chinese text that provides tools on demystifying the human experience.  Hell, I didn’t know.  But I wanted to know.  Out of general interest, I wanted to wrap my mind around just a small bit of it if I could.  This is one reason why I read Dyer’s information, but also Derek Lin’s recommended online source.  Between the two I have room to think a little for myself also.

According to Derek Lin’s online translation, the Tao Te Ching starts with Chapter One stating:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

And Dyer's source reads as 1st Verse stating:

The Tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name.
The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery;
ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway
to all understanding.

Each of Lin’s lines differs from the source Dyer used in his book, but I can only guess that the main meaning behind the two resonates to the same beat that you shouldn’t make a fuss out of trying to figure out every person, situation, circumstance, and idea that comes your way.  For the most part, all those things will do is remain a mystery, just as we are within the Universe's mysterious schematic.  We are in the "Case of the Living" also, so you'll never completely solve why a person does the things he or she does, especially when we cannot solve many of the psychologies that make up ourselves.  An example is sort of like me attempting to figure out why a relative of mine moved to Chicago to be with the father of her seven-month-old, leaving her oldest child behind as he enters kindergarten next month.  Now of course I can dive into the surface of the circumstances, but how in the hell am I suppose to make sense of her decision when it's not mine to make?  Or another example is why one of my co-workers repeatedly details to me her affairs with other men with total disregard to her marriage?  Who am I to judge or say anything?  Or why does that one fellow chooses not to speak to me, glaring instead from across the room?  So why should I attempt to understand when the mystery of the Tao suggest that I let such matters run their course as it goes to work developing all parties involved.  It’s a mystery of mysteries, after all.  So maybe the only way to understand it is not to try to understand it, even as I kill the urge to reason with this relative on how this may effect the child in the big picture.

Without a doubt this verse alone is much more broader than I can handle, but what are you seeing in your life that you could let go and enter  a state of “letting it be”?  And why is it sometimes easier to let things be in one case as opposed to another?  And where does being unsympathetic and selfish may tie into letting people follow their course as you focus on allowing your own course to unfold?


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

Lin, Derek. "Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching." Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching. N.p. <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews