08 July 2008

Revisiting the Tao

I picked up my copy of the Tao Te Ching again to revisit it. I will make my way through it and think about a passage a day, trying to place it in context with my thoughts. I find it amazing that I can always relate it to something happening in the world or in my life.

I read the first passage and this time I made me think about people that I know.

"Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught up in desire, you only see the manifestations."

How many people have you known that are so wrapped up in something: Getting the right job, spouse or car, beating the next person in a competition, making someone else look bad. They all are actually unhappy, they complain, the grass is always greener. Don't they bring you down?

Then look at people that are just plain happy. Do they care that someone else won? Do they need to get a better car? No they don't. They realize what is important. The others do not and only see the manifestations (their perceptions, not reality).

I know I'm rambling, but bear with me. I admire people that seem to have an inner drive to achieve, but do not let that drive dictate them. They are successful because they realize that what they are trying achieve is not the most important thing; their family, their relationships, their time is more important.

If you have a chance, pick up the Tao Te Ching and read it. It's short, but don't make it a short read, you'll loose the meaning. Or check out an on-line translation by Stephen Mitchell.

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