Tao Te Ching – Chapter 47
It is not necessary to travel
to understand the world. It is not necessary to look out the window to see into ourselves.
The more we look outside ourselves for knowledge,
the less we know about anything.
We do not wander about
yet still we gain knowledge.
We do not look about
yet still we gain understanding,
We do not strive
yet still we accomplish everything.
Ah, me. How does the “Old Boy” know just what’s going on in my life right now? I’m in the midst of traveling and looking around at other people to gauge how things are going. I’m speaking to a group tonight about “How to respond to the craziness of culture.” Do I have any real idea of what that means? I’ll be using my recent book, The Activist’s Tao Te Ching, as a resource.
Actually, this chapter is a very good reminder to me of the central theme of “quiet activism.” What we are fed by media and other pundits does not really help us gain understanding. Frantic activity does not accomplish what we hope. The kind of activism we need is the activism that arises from an understanding of our own hearts and souls as they give rise to the kind of life and culture that would be truly authentic for us. We work at creating this kind of life, rather than at reactionary responses to the external world.