Humans have wants and desires which generate expectations that necessitate judging, picking and choosing. Disappointments and frustrations are their byproducts. According to Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, the ancient classic on human wisdom, everything in life is to be welcomed and embraced, but not avoided.
“Everything that happens to us is beneficial.
Everything that we experience is instructional.
Everyone that we meet, good or bad, becomes our teacher or student.
We learn from both the good and the bad.
So, stop picking and choosing.
Everything is a manifestation of the mysteries of creation.”
(Chapter 27, Tao Te Ching)
According to Tao wisdom, the root cause of all human miseries is pride, which is to satisfy the ego-self delusively created in the flawed human mind.
“The Creator is above,
and we are below
The Creator is in front,
and we are behind.
Because this is the nature of things,
humility is only natural to us.
Yet many are desirous of the top
fearful of lagging behind.
Humility is the Way.”
(Chapter 66, Tao Te Ching)
“Dependent on the Creator,
our horizons broaden and expand,
our souls inspire and nourish,
our relationships grow and flourish.
Everything around us becomes oneness with the Creator.
Dependent on ourselves,
our horizons contract and shrink,
our souls wither and die,
our relationships break and crumble.
Everything around us becomes depleted and damaged.”
(Chapter 39, Tao Te Ching)
Humility initiates the process of letting go of everything that distracts us from our pursuit of true human wisdom.
“Possessing little, we become content.
Having too much, we lose the Creator.
Having no ego, we become humbled, and our actions are enlightened.
Having no desire for perfection, our actions are welcome by all.
Having no expectation of result, our actions are selfless and non-judgmental.
Having no goal, our actions are under-doing and never over-doing.
Accepting what is, and finding it to be perfect is not easy.
But that is the only Way to the Creator.”
(Chapter 22, Tao Te Ching)
Indeed, distractions in modern life come in many different forms.
“Distractions are many,
in the form of riches and luxuries,
They allure us from the Way.
Accumulations are like extortions of the poor.
They bring only disaster and suffering.
Do not deviate from the Way.”
(Chapter 53, Tao Te Ching)
Letting go control, we no longer strain, strive, and struggle, and thus enabling us to live in the present moment—which is a luxury to many in this day and age.
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau