Misunderstood Passage Of The Tao-Te Ching

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The Tao Te Ching exemplifies duality, the opposites, of almost all things in life. Life and death, happiness and sadness, action and inaction, all these are addressed and referenced repeatedly in its pages. These cryptic sayings seem almost self-contradictory, and yet are strangely accurate. These written words cause us to look deeper into the meaning of words, beyond the words themselves, and into the depths of ourselves. As nonsensical and mystic as the Tao is, we have a lot to learn about ourselves and our world in these small passages. An easily misunderstood passage is that of being and not-being. At first glance, these four words seem to contradict themselves and our own rational thought. How can someone be and yet not-be? Can we be…show more content…
To most, this idea makes no sense, as it seems to take concentration to perform a skill accurately and correctly. This is only partially true. Learning a skill takes practice. Mastering that skill takes more practice. Perfecting that skill takes still more practice. Practice, in its most basic sense, is repetition. Our bodies and minds learn from repetition, learning so well over time that nearly no focus from you is needed. This is the idea of muscle memory, where the body instinctively performs almost on its own. After all, practice makes…show more content…
Once a person learns the basics of a skill and is familiar with the repetitive process of that skill, then that person’s body takes over. For example, look at the act of walking. Chances are, the majority of people don’t have to think about the placement of their feet, the length of their stride, the bend of their knee, or the strike of the heel. They just walk, unthinkingly, carrying out conversations and observing their world around them among other things. This highly involved task once took immense concentration and balance as a child, yet it became muscle memory over time. The same is true for the skills of potters, electricians, pilots, runners, jugglers, and all manner of other talented people. The Tao notes this idea by taking action by letting things take their own course, and that the master remains calm at all times (Tao Te Ching, verse

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