By Basti Deans
One of my favourite quotes is from the Dao De Ching - chapter 40... A short chapter
Returning is the movement of the Dao
Yielding is the manner of the Dao
All things are born of being
Being is born of non-being
Please read that a few times and let it sink in, notice how your attention and awareness is.
The Dao' is often translated as 'the way' but more directly it means avenue, road or path... It is the fundamental Way Life is, the path it takes, how it emerges and does its thing then returns to something that is not it... In the west we're not often used to talking in this way but let us see what we shall see:
Returning... This is giving us a sense of a cyclical movement; if something is returning its already gone 'out there' - once it has returned to its origin then it can also return to wherever 'out there' is again and so on eternally. Just like leaves on a tree: that which is of the dark earth goes up and out, grows into being a leaf, slowly declines until dropping down, disintegrates back into the dark of the earth.
Yielding... This is a softening and allowing, much like water; there is movement as if it is always surrounding things and finding a path of least resistance with it, thus where is it not? This can describe something of its way being beyond time and space - there is no space where it cannot be so no time it does not occupy or encompass
All things... This means not only all the material of this entire universe and how that interacts (and each of us is a part of that) but also all the potential thoughts, feelings and actions we may take in life. When we're just being and doing then there is something that we're not being or doing and so duality occurs and carries on; and most old cultures and texts encourage us to find some kind of harmony in this duality.
Non-being... Well, will words even be a stepping stone to reach this? OK, if All of this Being returns, as we said earlier, to something that it is Not then it means that there is an ultimate disintegration into nothingness, Emptiness (remember the dark earth image earlier) but it can only be described as this... we cannot see it to truly describe or hold it to offer to anyone. We must, just as the Dao does, allow it... Allow it, and ourselves, to yield and return to this Emptiness but as it has 'no place' we cannot go To it so 'It' is a Yielding within Us.
This is the work and practice of spiritual seekers, monks and nuns, those moving to Unity and a Holistic, Healing way... And it is captured within 4 short lines asking us to let go, move like water & be without being.