Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 45

Every Tuesday on Tao Te Ching Daily, Amy Putkonen posts a chapter from her version of the Tao Te Ching with her commentary. She graciously opens the post up to links from other bloggers with their commentary on the chapter. I’ve enjoyed the project so much! You are invited to join in, too. Just link your post to Amy’s, and then visit Amy’s post to link it to yours. Please be sure to read her comments and the others there – such excellent insights!

Great perfection
seems to be missing something,
Yet it is always useful.

Great fullness seems empty,
But it will never wear out.

Very straight things appear crooked.
Intelligence seems slow.
Great debates seems to lack words.

Movement overcomes cold.
Stillness overcomes heat.

Stay clear and calm
and the Universe will do the same.

Like everything in the Tao Te Ching, this chapter is multi-layered. On the surface, it is more balance of opposites: Each creates the other. Each interacts with the other, creating everything else.

Underneath, I see the idea of projection. It has been said that a true sage is like a mirror. The universe is a teaching mirror too. Something that is called perfect may also be the mirror for our own imperfections, yet it is still wonderful. Fullness can feel empty because of our own yearnings, yet is still bountiful in its own right.

Finally we are reminded again of our deep connection, our utter integration, our being a true part of all things: we are part of that dynamic relationship of opposites. We play our part, literally (movement overcomes cold) and mentally / emotionally through our projections and perceptions. It has also been said that a sage remains serene though a mountain falls down before him…if we are clear and calm, that is the universe we project and therefor experience. Like attracts like, what you give to the universe returns to you….”Stay clear and calm and the Universe will do the same”.

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