Showing posts with label Satisfaction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Satisfaction. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tao and Satisfaction

I’m pretty sure we all believed or have stated that we don’t ask for much from people and life; whether that‘s outwardly true it's what we inwardly believe.  We attempt to be comfortable in our given--or created--situations.  We focus and strive for the biggest, most desired bit of transformation that we feel is required to bloom order and fulfillment into our lives.  We think that maybe if we get that one thing to happen, everything else will fall into place.  Or maybe those other annoyances concerning life wouldn't matter; fading away as we travel through our passions and destinies toward greatness   So when we've obtained our “big picture”, lying comfortably within it, where do we go from there?  And what is it about wanting more after receiving?

As I've read the third verse/chapter of the Tao through Dyer’s book and Derek Lin’s translation, I come to realize that learning how to be satisfied with life’s little unfoldings might be more of a fantasy than reality.  Like many, I've been condition to want so badly that I don’t believe it is even possible for me to reach such a level of content.  A level so strong that it blocks out all of my egocentric-driven desires.  See, I’m not sure where and when it happened, but life always just feels like a fight.  Like everybody else, I’m constantly contending with deep levels of inner habituations and outer influences.  So what am I (or we) left with when we travel through the two different verses of the Tao’s third verse/chapter translation?  Verses that ask us to let down our guard and relax ourselves on this plane by being auto-piloted by our spirits.  As always, let’s look at Dyer’s version then Lin’s.

Dyer’s translation reads as:

Putting a value on status
Will create contentiousness.
If you overvalue possessions,
People begin to steal.
By not displaying what is desirable, you will
Cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed.

The sage governs
By emptying minds and hearts,
By weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

Practice not doing…
When action is pure and selfless,
Everything settles into its own perfect place.

And Lin’s reads:

Do not glorify the achievers
So the people will not squabble
Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain
So the people will not become thieves
Do not show the desired things

So their hearts will not be confused

Thus the governance of the sage:
Empties their hearts
Fills their bellies
Weakens their ambitions
Strengthens their bones

Let the people have no cunning and no greed
So those who scheme will not dare to meddle

Act without contrivance

And nothing will be beyond control

As always, I connect with Lin’s version better.  Yet, I always read his like poetry while in need of Dyer’s interpretation to sort of reorient any of my thoughts.  Nevertheless, I think at its basis, this verse/chapter is simple and clear:  let life do the heavy lifting and just show gratitude for what is as is unfolds into the purist form of your desires.  If you can’t accept things as they are and be appreciative, then you’ll always be in want of something.  Nevertheless, as I mentioned, it would take me tons of work to get pass my ego in order to reach such a state.  However, in many ways it really comes down to a single conscious thought for promoting inner change.  That nugget of information is there--it's with you now.  Depending on how persistent you are for change, you'll always have access to it.  So if you can at least program yourself (unless or until it comes unconsciously) to recognize situations that ask you to allow life to be, then you can make the conscious decision to do so when said situation arises.  That's a good place to start in my opinion.  It's an idea that helps many people who are just starting on spiritual paths or paths for change.  Because think about it, at one point you didn't have the tools necessary to change.  You were just bumbling about.  So maybe that'll be enough for now.  Recognizing the opportunities to step back and let life do the heavy lifting.


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. <>.

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