The way never acts yet nothing is left undone.
Should lords and princes be able to hold fast to it,
The myriad creatures will be transformed of their own accord.
After they are transformed, should desire raise its head,
I shall press it down with the weight of the nameless uncarved block.
The nameless uncarved block
Is but freedom from desire,
And if I cease to desire and remain still,
The empire will be at peace of its own accord.
Fundamentally, all desires strive to transform something or some condition. In other words, we feel we need to act least something be left undone. Desire drives me to act by giving me the keen sense that if I just satiate the desire, the world will be right again, or at least my corner of it.
The curious thing about giving over control of the universe to the way is how the myriad aspect of creation become transformed of their own accord. Of course the transformation occurs within my perspective, not in any particular object. When I attempt to seize control of the empire, I act to transform it to match my idealized sense of how it should be. Alas, Whoever takes the empire and wishes to do anything to it I see will have no respite [see ch. 29].
I feel the weight of the nameless uncarved block when I’m most attentive to my moment. The breadth and depth of reality is profound. There is so much to notice, but the narrow focus which desire gives rise to, blinds me and takes over. When I can slow down and look around, I begin to sense the weight. At this point I stand at a cross roads—the nameless uncarved block on one hand and desire on the other. If I veer toward the nameless, it helps me press down desire and remain still.