Tao Tips is a new category of post I thought I’d try out. For quite a while, I’ve sought to say what I had to say with fewer words, but my posts just don’t cooperate. Perhaps the name “Tao Tips” will help remind me to limit myself. After all… Those most adept have results, yet stop, not daring not to seek better.
I’ll kick it off with an important realization (for me) on having a “proper sense of awe“, as D.C. Lau puts it in chapter 72 (i.e., When the people lack a proper sense of awe, then some awful visitation will descend upon them). I really prefer his translation of this line to my more literal one… When the people don’t fear power, Normally great power arrives.
I realized that this sense of awe requires emotion to really kick in. Thinking just doesn’t cut it. You can think you ‘appreciate’ something, but to really feel that deeply is profoundly different. Deep emotional sense of loss, and confronting fear of loss—bite the bullet—so to speak, does the trick. Of course, we do all that we can to avoid feeling those emotions. To make this even more difficult, we must feel this sense of loss constantly; the experience of loss keeps it “proper”. Perhaps this is why Taoism is ‘dark’ and Taoist are encouraged to take the ‘lower position’. A proper sense of awe is built on failure, not success. Wealth, of course, hinders this by giving us options for escape and explain why wealth has its own built in ‘self destruct button’.
That’s my paragraph. Of course I could go on and on, explaining more, giving examples, showing parallels, consequences, causes… but the TaoTip tid bit would be lost. The tangents are numerous, but I’ll try to leave those for each to hunt and gather.