“Those who stand on tiptoes
Do not stand firmly
Those who rush ahead
Don’t get very far.
Those who try to outshine others
Dim their own light
Those who call themselves righteous
Can’t know how wrong they are
Those who boast of their accomplishments
Diminish the things they have done.
Compared to the Tao, these actions are unworthy.
If we are to follow the Tao, we must not do these things.”
– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Yesterday I forgot to add this quote to the blog on ‘Impressions and Impressing’ which I got to almost by a random opening of the Tao Te Ching book while having this word ‘impression’ as my purpose to explore in the day. This one sums up very nicely the polarities that we create when following ‘the way of the ego’ as our expression, it is a reminder of the consequences of ‘living through our mental values’ and I found it supportive because a part of me, my programming and even familiar influence on my father’s side would have probably been a trigger for me to, for example, still feel the need to be recognized or boast about something even if in an apparent ‘modest’ manner in order to give myself some ‘value’ for something.
However, when walking this process of self-honesty, developing humbleness is of utmost support, because then we stop ‘measuring’ ourselves against others – we stop comparing ourselves – we also stop valuing ourselves based on ‘what we do’ or ‘how much’ of it is done, but instead consider who we are in every moment and understand that the results and outcomes of our ‘every moment’ in a day, are the bricks with which we go building our next moments, our future.
So if one practically let go of the desires or fears that emerge within us when directing ourselves to do or be something, things simplify a lot and the attention and focus is no longer on a ‘value’ based mindset related on a measure, on external values, on others’ opinions or criticisms, but one then focuses on seeing the substance of things, what’s relevant, what’s of support for one’s life and that of others. That would be the real value of things if we are ever to, for example, recreate money and an entire new ‘value system’ where all things are valued according to how useful or supportive something is to make everyone’s life better.
In that sense, something like bars of gold or some chunks of information in a computer would definitely not be valued the way they are now, but we would regain an awareness of the real valuable and supportive things in life – but, we’ll get there someday, when we realize our massive accepted and allowed brainwashing on these concepts.
Where can we start now? With ourselves, stopping our own self-devaluations, our own inflations, our own ‘future investments’ and derivatives that seek self-interest ‘at all cost’ or that follow the rules of a game where nothing can ever be truly valued as equal, but always unequal: always inferior to something/someone, always superior, always ‘in front of’, always ‘behind from’ – and no, I’m not talking about physical spacing of things or physical dimensions – only talking about the mental-values that we impose onto ourselves in the ego-scale of things.
So in the second to last sentence of this quote, we get the key of all those polarity values explained “Compared to the Tao, these actions are unworthy.” The Tao here as per my understanding and definition is the way of life, not even the ‘good’ as that can sometimes be misconstrued as a morality, but I’d rather say the way of what’s best for all. Therefore, the key word ‘unworthy’ comes up there to see how it is implying a ‘new value system’ that is no longer based on more or less, but instead in a way that considers the depth and potential of life.
In life, the only real value is life – nothing else – and therefore, anything that does not support life, has no meaning, has no value. How can we then make sure that we start changing the values that we believe only the ‘Federal Reserve’ is responsible for in terms of money creation, or a ‘Central Bank’? We have to take the point of ‘worth’ and ‘value’ back to ourselves and see how it is that the concept of inequality wasn’t born in a social construct ‘out there,’ but it is in fact an inherent mechanism in which we think of ourselves and others, a way in which we have ‘learned’ to ‘value’ things as more or less than in a myriad of ways.
Let’s consider then that if Equality – as in Life Equality, as substance, as the realization of how everything that exists is genuinely one an equal – would have been our default measuring point and general understanding in how we relate to everything, then this inequality, this discrimination, wars, poverty would not exist, because we would not be able to disregard that part of ourselves and impose this notion of it being ‘less than’ life, because such concepts of being less than, more than, being superior or inferior would simply not exist as part of our ways to conceive, to see or approach reality, which would assists us in seeing how we are one and equal to every single person, animal or speck of reality that we see around us.
This might seem a bit too ‘out there’ but to ground it back here, my point is emphasizing how many times we become righteous in believing that we know exactly ‘who we are’ and ‘what our purpose in life is’ and we don’t even question it, we get so sure of ourselves that it can create an inflexibility of sorts that only in continuing to investigate oneself in self-honesty does one get to break-out of that secure-shell of ‘knowing exactly’ who we believe we are, but fear to question it, because let’s face it: no one really likes to experience a sense of uncertainty, not knowing ‘who one is’ if we strip ourselves away from every single definition that we’ve built through our minds, our ego that is always existing in a lack, in an inequality. Yet, this is precisely the kind of challenges we have to walk through in order to see ‘what’s real, what’s of real substance’
I’ve tested it out and proven to myself how life, as in genuinely being able to live every moment in a directive, stable, calm way – is a possibility when I precisely let go of these polarized ways of perceiving myself, what I do, how I relate to others and how I see/perceive reality. It seems like a simple decision and feat, but the reality is that we’ve conditioned ourselves so much to always see through the filter of the mind that it does take this process to understand each layer of self-deception and so, learn how to take responsibility of it by acknowledging it, embracing it as our creation, walking it through a process of re-creation and redefinition the same way that we would expect a new seed to grow, to nurture it, to support ourselves with giving ourselves the proper conditions to develop and then seeing our creation come to fruition.
That’s also how building the new world, the new way of living cannot come from a belligerent starting point, cannot come from antagonism, cannot come from denial, refusal or ignorance of what we’ve become or have created – all of us, equally – as our reality, our world system.
Therefore we go back to the point of wanting to change the world – yes, that quest that ‘drives’ me and many more – to see it again as something that is doable by each one of us, first understanding all of these inequalities existing in ourselves and becoming the living example of what it really means to value all life as equal, to value and regard oneself as one and equal with everything that is here.
And no, this is not intended to create a ‘larger than life’ experience, because that would again be a mind-interpretation of this. It is about us daily practicing this living of the word equality, deliberately ending the ‘less than/more than’ mental perceptions and instead practice embracing ourselves, others, reality ‘as is’ in order to not fight it, to not deny it – which doesn’t mean that we then blindly accept it, not at all – but instead can take responsibility for such creation through understanding it, without judging ourselves for it and so walking it by the hand into a correction, which means: we have to do it, we have to walk that process within ourselves first if we are to change the nature of how we value things, how we gauge or assess things in reality.
So this is a challenge then for myself that I expand to anyone reading this, to see how much during our day we go into inferiorities, superiorities, a sense of righteousness, or wanting something ‘more fulfilling’ or feeling too empty, where we go seeking to be ‘valued more by others’ – all of these representing some of the most basic ways and forms in which we have unfortunately conditioned ourselves to interact, constantly perceiving ourselves ‘unfulfilled, incomplete, lacking, desiring, hoping’ That’s the distraction right there to stop and change into words that can instead assist us to user our time, our minds, our bodies for self-creation, self-nurturing for self support.
Even more so, if you get to see that it becomes rather ‘easy’ to just ‘think’ of yourself as one and equal with everything, it doesn’t stop there, absolutely not, that’s only the first realization, from there it is still all about directing, developing and making of our potential something real through actual work, actual doings and self-responsible direction by each one of us.
It would mean nothing at all to understand oneself as ‘one and equal with everything’ but don’t take any actions, don’t embark into personal changes to genuinely create a life, a world system that can be driven by and embody the kind of principles that we then are individually – one by one – deciding to live within ourselves.
So, a cool point for self-reflection is to see and understand ourselves as the creator of actual value as life values that we can cultivate individually and so collectively – that’s where our real power resides and so far we have been squandering it seeking change only ‘out there’– but we also have to start here, one by one, and that is then us living an ‘idea’, living a word that cannot be silenced or censored, because a new set of living principles and so living values within ourselves cannot be suppressed or repressed if we all start waking up to this realization – there’s no need to fight wars or protest to do this, it’s in all of our heads and hands to use as tools of self-creation in equality, so let’s act, think and live words in a way that is genuinely supportive for all.
Thanks for reading
Louis Morton 2014
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