“The master is content to serve as an example
and not impose his will.” – Tao te Ching
Good day to you! Before you read any further, let me start by saying that if you believe the above words to be true, you will get a lot out of today’s blog. If you don’t, then hit your “back” button, and hopefully, I’ll have something wiser for you in the next segment. 🙂
This saying really resonates with me. The teachers in my life with the most profound effect taught me with their examples and not their words. I remember my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Kirby, whose passion for Texas history drew me into wanting to learn about the early days of my home state. Recently, my son’s martial arts instructor taught me through his example how to raise my expectations of discipline and polite manners from three-year-olds while still having a lot of fun with them. With perfect form, Master Kim delivers a front kick to a training bag, and while he doesn’t expect his littlest students to do the same, he DOES expect them to listen respectfully to him and to work hard.
Just as these words apply to humans, I believe they apply to The Creator, too. I believe The Creator serves as an example to us in many ways:
- Plants and trees are The Creator’s example of teaching us patience. All flowering and growth happens at just the right time, in the right season.
- Young animals and children are The Creator’s example of teaching us to treat life with wonder and a playful attitude.
- Storms are The Creator’s example of teaching us that the toughest of situations do not last very long, and then there is peace afterwards.
- Birth and death are our strongest examples of The Creator teaching us about change and transition, a recurring theme in our lives on Earth.
Does The Creator, the ultimate Master, impose His/Her will? I don’t believe so. I believe we have free will, that we will live much of our lives in expected ways because we are human, and that The Creator wants to be a partner in our lives. Hoping for us to consult with Him/Her and imposing His/Her will are very different from each other.
“Those who know
do not talk.
Those who talk
do not know.”
– Tao Te Ching
I readily admit, I ripped this off my Tao Te Ching (as translated by Wayne Dyer) perpetual calendar today. It struck a chord.
Here at Talking With The Creator, I affirm our need and ability to speak directly with the energy behind all of creation who has been given thousands of names. We who delve deeply into our quiet depths and learn from our Source know much. We know what newspapers cannot tell us. We know what our five senses could never pick up. We know truth–not, “THE Truth,” as if such a thing existed. We know what is true and right for ourselves in each situation and in each moment.
We do not talk about this. The closest I’ve ever come to talking about my conversations with God are in this forum, to you who share this interest and hopefully, this gift. You are the safest audience.
The Tao says, “Those who talk do not know.” And how true that is! We are seemingly outnumbered by those who cannot enjoy silence. Their egos are loud in their own heads. They must speak out publicly. Their lack of confidence and their need for assurance is often evident. Some months back, a friend admitted to me that he gets apprehensive if people don’t start “Liking” his Facebook posts within a few minutes of posting. I can’t say I’ve ever had that experience.
In our world of instantaneous messaging and ubiquitous social media, it can feel like you’re out of the loop if you’re not in constant communication on your favorite device. But don’t be fooled. The news that will keep your life on solid footing is not floating around the Internet. It is in the silent conversations with your Creator.
“Water is soft, fluid and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” – Lao Tzu (6th Century BCE)
When someTHING rigid and unyielding, like a problem or obstacle, comes into contact with someONE rigid and unyielding, like a person with control issues or a preconceived idea of the way things should be, then nothing productive happens. Imagine two billiard balls bumping up against each other. They can bump against each other all day and neither is changed in any significant way.
Now, imagine the soft power of water. Imagine a large sandcastle at the beach when the tide comes in. Does the water simply knock down the castle? No. Is it soft and persistent? Yes. The sandcastle has no power to resist the water, and eventually it is knocked down with the beach being returned to its flat, natural state.
We can power through problems, too, when we use softness and persistence. Think of the water softly attacking the sandcastle, making openings in the walls and then filling them inside and outside until the castle is down.
How can you become gentle, soft and persistent? How can you find ways to softly approach your obstacles from different angles? Can you look at the situation from a distance, from many different angles, and then be prepared to experiment with different fluid, soft ways of dealing with it and/or working around it?
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu (6th Century BCE)
Life is like a dream when we go gently down the stream. Except sometimes, the stream becomes white water or a waterfall. Personally, I am excited about some big changes coming into my life that I will be sharing with you soon. Still, I’m feeling seasick right now. Needing help, a listening ear and some consolation, I entered the gap to talk with The Creator of All yesterday. I wanted to share this part of our conversation with you…
God: …Think about what happens when you just let life happen. When you go with the flow and go along for the ride.
Sheryl: Great things happen.
God: And they will, again. Don’t be a critic. Be an observer of what you see. Be a feeler of your emotions. Stay in touch with your heart and with me, so that I can guide you.
Sheryl: (suddenly feeling peaceful) Thank you. With you, I am at peace and all is well.
God: Teach that to the world, and the whole world will be at peace.
Verse 35 from the Tao Te Ching
Written by Lao Tzu (ca. 6th Century BCE). Translation by Michael Rossman (1940-2008). View the entire text here.
Grasp the formless form
and the world comes to you.
All come to you unharmed
for peace, security, rest.
Music and tidbits
tempt the passerby to pause.
By mouth the way
it can’t be seen,
it can’t be heard.
but use doesn’t exhaust it.
It is clear that the “formless form” and “the way” refer to what I call The Creator of All. In spiritual circles and many religious ones, too, becoming quiet is prescribed for bringing peace, creativity and power to one’s self.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) wrote, “You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will offer itself to you be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”