The greatest perfection seems imperfect,
and yet its use is inexhaustible.
The greatest fullness seems empty,
and yet its use is endless.
Great straightness seems twisted.
Great inteligence seems stupid.
Great eloquence seems awkward.
Great truth seems false.
Great discussion seems silent.
Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat.
Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.
To our ego-centered mind, everything and everyone that we encounter is interpreted a certain way on the surface. However, if we go beyond the initial surface interpretation, we can see the underlying truth and perfection.
For example, if I meet someone for the first time, I would instantly set certain expectations and make certain judgments of the person based on their surface level appearance. Their hair color, skin color, clothes, profession, etc all set certain interpretations.
However, if I allowsmyself to get to know that person better, I might find out that there is much more to him or her than my original ego-based assessment told me. In addition, I might learn that many of my original assessments were completely wrong. (This was one of the epiphanies that I wrote about from my recent Vipassana mediation course.)
This is the same with situations that we come across in our life. We see situations in our life and assess them on the surface as all wrong. I am in the wrong job, only if the weather was different, those people shouldn’t act like that, my kid isn’t behaving as I wanted him/her to act, etc.
That which seems wrong, twisted, stupid, awkward, false, etc on the surface is really perfection in the eyes of the Tao. Everything is unfolding just as it should even if it does not meet the expectations of our ego-centric mind.
Even though we refuse to agree with it, the bad things that happen in the world are part of the perfection according to the Tao. They are just as important as the good things that happen. This is the yin and the yang. Both are needed for either to exist.
By connecting with the stillness inside of ourselves, we can learn to see all things as neither good nor bad. They just are. Only when we realize this can we see “order in the universe”.
Some take-aways from this verse.
- Learn to connect with the stillness and tranquility inside through meditation techniques.
- Whenever you encounter someone or some situation, take notice of your internal self-talk. Realize what expectations and judgements you are creating as a result.
These steps start to build awareness, which is always necessary before any change is possible. Once you can utilize these steps on a regular basis, then you can learn to let the expectations and judgements go without attaching to them.
- Ego: Fight it or love it, it is there (writingthebasils.wordpress.com)
- Meditation Training or Boot Camp for Your Brain? – Part 5 (alongthetao.wordpress.com)