As a New Ager I find truth in most of the religions in the world. And while I love to quote from A Course In Miracles(and could probably do so for years going at the pace of one passage a week) it has occurred to me that I should, in true New Age fashion, pull a selection of quotes from other holy books. Before anyone gets offended it is meant as a compliment, I’m not trying to insult your religion.
This week I thought I would pull a quote from the Tao Te Ching, the central text of Taoism. Written by Lao-Tzu before departing China to escape it’s superficial and corrupt life, he left a short book of his wisdom for the people of China (yes I realize that there is a lot of myth tied to that story, I still like it). The book is probably the shortest holy text in the world (unless you want to count individual books of the Old, New, and Gnostic Testaments of the Bible). Written as a series of 81 short poems, the Tao Te Ching (The Book of Virtues of the Way), the book is often a series of double and triple meanings crammed into short, cryptic phrases. (Given that Chinese is also a language that poorly translates into English, poetry especially, it is always best to read three or four translations if you’re going to try to read the book.)
For this week I’m going to go with a quote from the 19th poem in the Tao. (I’m just going to go with my favorite translation).
“Give up kindness, renounce morality.
And men will rediscover piety and love.”–Lao Tzu
So what does this mean? That you should give up being kind and moral? No, silly. It means that you should stop doing things because you are supposed to them because they’re rules or codes or values you’re supposed to hold. Things you’ve been taught to follow. Ideals society wants you to do. Why? Because when you force people to do things you breed resentment, hostility, rebellion. You should do things because you want to, because your personal reason dictates it, because it makes you feel good…not because someone says you should.
Why is this the weekly meditation? This week I want you to ask yourself if you’re doing something because you want to and it makes sense…or because you’re expected to. Reason and your heart are fine things to follow, and they will often agree with society’s rules, but make sure they are before you act. I promise you you will be more in tune with yourself and the universe if you do what you want and think is right more than what is only expected of you…even if it’s the same thing, the intent and the reason make a huge difference.