Tao Te Ching – Chapter 13
Expecting either praise or blame
makes us anxious.
Seeing ourselves as separate and isolated
makes us suffer.
What are the implications of “expecting either praise or blame makes us anxious”?
To desire praise is to fear blame.
To fear blame is to desire praise.
Both are rooted in fear
and bound up in desire.
That is why on this path
there is neither praise nor blame.
What are the implications of “Seeing ourselves as separate and isolated
makes us suffer”?
We are all expressions of the One Life of the Tao.
Seeing ourselves as separate is a mistake
that leaves us feeling vulnerable.
We use countless strategies
to protect ourselves from this vulnerable feeling.
This is the root of our suffering.
Knowing that we are part of Everything That Is,
We care for and nurture all things as ourselves.
Occasionally I think about the countless things that had to happen throughout the millennia for this temporary form called, “me,” to exist. It is mind-boggling. Ten thousand years ago there might have been a human male who looked up just in time to see a boulder rolling toward him and was able to step aside just in time. Twenty thousand years ago a human woman might have been nurtured by her tribe through a difficult childbirth. A million years ago a protohuman being narrowly escaped a predator. Back and back through the ages I imagine the confluence of events that led to the arising of “me.” How could I possibly imagine that I am separate from anything past, present, or future?