Lenten (Missed but reclaimed) observance: Days 25 & 26

Apparently I had too good a time yesterday, and I failed to comment on Tao 49 and 50, so today I’ll make up by doing a comment on Tao 49-52.  If anyone wondered what happened yesterday, I’m not sure — I just forgot. 

49: “The master has no mind of her own.  She works with the mind of the people.  She is good to people who are good.  She is also good to people who aren’t good.  This is true goodness.”  And it continues with trust in the same way.  We make judgments based on how we’ve been treated (or how we imagine we may be treated) and then that blocks us in — so we see someone as not good, and so won’t help them, or we see someone who is not trustworthy, and we don’t trust them.  In fact, the latter idea is what many see as correct and mature — if someone is untrustworthy, one would be foolish to trust them.  And when it comes to my own life, I find it tough to trust someone who has betrayed me.  Of course, if you can roll with whatever happens, then you can trust someone who is not trustworthy, as you’ll still be able to work with whatever happens.

50: “The master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings.”  Here we have again the idea of being ready for anything, not by anticipating, but by engaging in dialog with the world as it is.  We also have the idea of improvisation, which seems increasingly important to me.  When I have gone to plays, esp. student productions, what I like most of all is watching the young actors deal with something that goes wrong.  If they can roll with that, it fills me with joy.  If they can’t I feel sadness and dread — it’s tough to watch someone dying on stage.

Both 51 and 52 deal with the idea that everything comes from the Tao, and that the goal should be to see past the physical manifestation to the truth behind it all.  This reminds me of Plato and the “ideas” behind the physical reality, and that only the “ideas” are true, that the physical manifestation is so much show, but not true.

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