Tao Te Ching – Chapter 48

Seeking knowledge,
we add new facts each day.
Seeking the Tao,
we drop assumptions each day.
Each day we assume less and less until we assume nothing.
There is nothing left to do
and nothing left undone.

Allowing things to come and go according to their nature,
we gain everything.
Trying to control everything,
we gain nothing.




Isn’t the idea of dropping all assumptions a delightful thought? I begin with the assumption parade the moment I awake in the early morning. I assume the items of the day. I assume people’s reactions. I assume that things will go well, or I assume that they will snag themselves up into a great mess. It all depends on my mood, which itself arises from my conditioned mind. None of it is ever accurate.

I’ve written before about my dear spouse’s remark; “If we don’t make assumptions about the day, how will we know when things go wrong!?!” Her irony has been my comfort on many a day when events seem “wrong” when, in fact, they are simply what they are.

I work, I really do. I respond to events with as much energy and helpfulness as I can. But I am learning to let them have their own existence rather than assume that they are dropped into my life as a personal attack. It makes it all so much easier, and paradoxically, makes my actions all that more effective.

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