25 minutes | Mar 26, 2021

Tao Te Ching Verse 79: Staying Forgiving

Tao Te Ching Verse 79translated by Keith H. SeddonWhen a bad grudge is settled,Some enmity is bound to remain.How can this be considered acceptable?Therefore the Sage keeps to her side of the contractBut does not hold the other party to their promise.One who has Virtue will honour the contract,Whilst one who is without Virtue expects others to meet their obligations.It is the Way of Heaven to be impartial;It stays always with the good personPhoto by Gus Moretta on UnsplashGiving to ReceiveI have experienced time and again that most of the time, if I smile at someone, they’ll smile back.  I’ve also experienced that when I’m angry or sour-faced, people kind of leave me alone, and if I try to make them feel the way I’m feeling, I’ll get that back, too.In our physical world, it seems that when I push on object A it moves to location B and pretty much stays there.  But in our spiritual world, it seems that when I do action A, it goes out to B and comes back to me in a reflective manner.The emotions observation was just one thing.  Let’s think about a couple more aspects.  When I treat others with compassion and they feel safe around me, people open up and share themselves with me.  Just doing nothing, just being there and holding space for them, kind of like being the empty vessel, does the trick.  When I am doing the opposite - being selfish and closed off, I am left alone and can’t connect with others.  When I am feeling desire for stuff or relationships I don’t have, people somehow pick up on this and again, I am left alone mostly.  Except in cases where others who are in the same position connect with me and we feed off of each other in unhealthy ways.  But when I am in love with my life and am quietly appreciate of myself and everything around me, I attract other people to share in this feeling with me.  When I am feeling equal to people, real relationship moments occur.  But when I am feeling superior or inferior to others, self-doubt usually surfaces and that feeling eventually causes me to act in passive aggressive or mildly hostile ways toward others.  Subtle ways, but hostile nonetheless. When I give my three treasures away, they return.  Similarly, when I give my ‘ick’ away, it returns.  So I can pretty much observe that I get back what I put out.  It is tempting to enter into esoterica here, and equally so to enter into grander visions of a honed manifestation ability.  And while I feel like that’s all got a true feel to it, I do like the way Lao Tzu helps us remember this axiom in a simple way. He talks about the Sage staying with the left side of the tablet - the debtor’s rather than the creditors.  He says that when we emulate the Tao by always giving, always being open and available to connect and serve, we become the forces that help others move into Harmony along with us.  And when we do that, we can’t help but reap the rewards - we don’t have to do anything - they just arrive.
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