Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom

and it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Throw away morality and justice

and the people will do the right thing.

Throw away industry and profit

and there will be no thieves

All of these things are outward forms alone;

They are not sufficient in themselves.

It is more important

to see the simplicity,

to realize one’s true nature,

to cast off selfishness

and temper desire.

Lao-tzu

This was a tough verse for me to fully grasp. I am aware that the concepts within this verse are much the same as in verse 18. If is as if I forgot the lessons learned and just spun my mental wheel because I was continually stuck on the first six lines. Lao-tzu was asking me to give up some of the very lessons the Tao has been teaching me. This was really throwing me off guard. I grew frustrated focusing all my energy on discovering the meaning of these six lines. I became blinded by them; causing me to ignore the remainder of this verse. The one aspect I was able to get and have always gotten is the benefit of throwing away industry and profit. In my opinion these two things have become a cancer on our society.

After meditating on this subject several times; I was urged to look at my interpretation of the 18th verse, then completely skip the first six lines all together and focus on the remainder of the verse. I went back and read my post on the 18th verse, and the next few times I read this verse; I was finally able to see some clarity. I focused on the main lesson I learned from the previous verse and focused on how the Tao tells us to not act virtuous but to be virtuous. Armed with this mode of thinking, the remainder of this verse seemed to fall into perspective. I was finally able to understand how these six lines played into the greater picture.

Starting out reading the seventh and eighth lines made the previous six lines make more sense. Lao-tzu was saying education, morality, and business are “outward forms” and “were not sufficient in themselves.” Lao-tzu was not asking me to throw these things out, he was saying I should not just seek out sainthood and act as how I view a saint should act. I should be saintly in all my endeavors. He was not renouncing the importance of wisdom; he was asking me to renounce my complex societal interpretation of what constitutes wisdom. He was not asking me to throw my morals and concept of justice out the window, he was asking me to not let these “laws” define how I act, but how I act should be in a manner that is inline with the Tao. He was asking me to see the simplicity of these things and tap into my true inner self, the self that is one with the Tao. If I am able to properly tap into and become one with this true inner self then I will go beyond these “outward forms.”

We need to find the true simplicity and our own inner nature; then we will become the saint we not only wanted to be, but one that is inline with the eternal Tao. Lao-tzu does not want us to be without wisdom. He warns us against seeking wisdom for wisdoms sake. Going to college, just because it is what we are suppose to do is not obtaining true wisdom. You may hold in your hand a fancy diploma from a top notch university, but this does not mean you automatically possess knowledge or wisdom. You may just end up possessing a $150K piece of paper. The simplest man living on the streets could very well be wiser, because he has within him discovered his true nature, and learned the valuable lesson of not complicating life.    

Perhaps in our search for wisdom, our desire for money, and our thought on societal obligations of morality we have some how complicated these simple things. A truth is a truth until you organize it, and then it becomes a lie. Why? Because the purpose of the organization begin to take precedence over that which it first attempted to keep in order. I think Lao-tzu is telling us we place too much attachment on these things. We hold these things in too high of regard in our lives. We blindly and selfishly desire to obtain these labels, until the labels become what we seek, not what is behind them. We begin to think these things define us as human beings; instead of being human beings that describe our labels.  

We all have a piece of God in each and every one of us, and becoming one with this part allows us to live everyday as being one with the Tao. This way of living will be “a hundred times greater for everyone” because we are living as a divine being. We look beyond these labels and become better than what we previously thought of. Our inner piece of God wants us to care for our fellow man. He wants us to obtain wisdom. He wants us to live with infinite kindness. He wants us to live within and become one with the eternal Tao. Now as for the industry and profit…well, I think he really wants us to throw them away.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s