Tao Te Ching verse 36
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What is Tao Te Ching verse 36 talking about?
In my opinion, this is one of those verses that makes you go “Whaaaat?!” I really had to think about this one!
When I first read a verse, I like to think about it a bit before I read what Wayne shares in the chapter. I like to give myself the opportunity to see what meaning it has for me before clouding my personal message with one learned by someone else. However, when a verse has me stumped, I look to other translations AND other writers for more insight.
Let’s take a look at this translation. I’ll tell you what popped into my mind and Wayne’s thoughts first, then I’ll share what I learned from other sources too.
Should you want to contain something, you must deliberately let it expand.
Should you want to weaken something, you must deliberately let it grown strong.
Should you want to eliminate something, you must allow it to flourish.
Should you want to take something away, you must deliberately grant it access.
The lesson here is called the wisdom of obscurity.
The gentle outlasts the strong. The obscure outlasts the obvious.
Fish cannot leave deep waters, and a country’s weapons should not be displayed.
Tao Te Ching verse 36: Live and Let Live
If you want to contain, weaken, eliminate, or take something away, you must let it expand, grow or flourish. How does that help?
The first thing that came to mind for me, was weeds in a garden. It doesn’t seem like letting them flourish would be a very effective way to create a good crop of vegetables, does it?
Or in the case of terrorists, letting them run amok wouldn’t be very safe for anyone.
There are numerous situations where it seems this verse doesn’t really make sense.
But then I thought about sibling rivalry. When siblings pester one another it’s generally because they are seeking some sort of reaction. If there is no reaction, the child looses interest. In this case it would seem that deliberately letting the other person pester you would have a positive result if you can just ignore them long enough!
I also thought about driving in traffic. Rather than let all the crazy stuff other drivers do annoy you, why not just expect that it will happen and be alert while driving? Instead of getting upset about things you cannot change, simply allow them to do whatever they will do and focus on being a better driver yourself.
What other areas of you life do you think allowing others to be, would make your life easier?
Ever heard the saying ‘Live and Let Live?‘ I think that’s kind of what Tao Te Ching verse 36 is suggesting.
Tao Te Ching verse 36 – Living under the radar
In this chapter, Wayne Dyer tells us we should focus less on gaining attention for our actions and instead work to benefit others. Still do the good things you would normally do, but instead of looking for recognition, look for the happiness, comfort, and ease you have created for others. Become an observer of the results of your actions instead of a seeker of praise.
“When you shift to this viewpoint, your desire for obscurity will surpass your need to be seen as strong and above everyone else – and you won’t end up all alone in your trophy room!”
Tao Te Ching verse 36 – Opposites are a necessary part of life
As difficult as it is to accept; pain, discomfort, unhappiness, loss, and fear, are all important aspects of life. If we never experienced any of those things we wouldn’t fully appreciate pleasure, relaxation, joy, gifts, and love.
Opposites are part of life so that we can fully feel what it’s like to be ALIVE!
Another translation I found on MasteringToday.me gives us more insight into this concept.
That which shrinks Must first expand.
That which fails Must first be strong.
That which is cast down Must first be raised.
Before receiving There must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Everything must be one way before it can be changed to something else. This is the ‘Nature of things‘
Wayne tells us that we can experience more peace and oneness when we seek awareness of opposites.
“For example, if you’re tired, remind yourself that you know what being rested is like. Recognize the opposing feeling so that you can know both of them simultaneously. Do this with any sensation: If you’re depressed, weak, jealous, unloved-anything- the antithesis of what you’re going though is within your experiential framework. See the opposite feeling right in the moment and be at one with it in your mind, for this will provide you with a balanced sense of being at peace within yourself. “
What do you think?
Share what you think Tao Te Ching verse 36 is trying to tell us in the comments below.
We’ll be discussing Chapter 37: Tao Te Ching verse 37
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Tao Te Ching verse 36