Learning consists in daily accumulating;
The practice of Tao consists in daily diminishing.
Keep on diminishing and diminishing,
Until you reach the state of Non-Ado.
No-Ado, and yet nothing is left undone.
To win the world, one must renounce all.
If one still has private ends to serve,
One will never be able to win the world.
This passage really hits home for me. I have always considered learning to be of utmost importance in my life, the gathering and accumulation of knowledge and wisdom. But over the years, I have had to accept the fact that thoughts and knowledge are also just things to which we become attached. So for me, I have had to practice the subtle art of letting go of things I have learned, of not clinging to old ideas. In doing so, I am opening myself up to the inflow of new concepts, new knowledge and wisdom. As I look around at the social insanity that plays out in the world around me, I can see how so much of the discord is a direct result of the tenacious clinging to the antiquated ideas which we have learned. And this is not limited to one side of the socio-political spectrum. It’s rampant everywhere.
There is a line in the song “Soul Kitchen” by The Doors which encourages the listener to “Learn to forget.” I believe that Jim Morrison was echoing the ideas expressed by Lao Tzu in this passage. We must let go of the things we learned that no longer serve us or society, and make room for new ideas.
Thanks for sharing in my musings today. Cheers!
2 responses to ““Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 48” by Lao Tzu”
I like this too. The path of non-pursuit and no-attachment is so difficult, but the few short-lived times I’ve been able to embody that frame of mind have been so freeing. Much of my frustration and anxiety concerning the current political and world-view has been my fierce attachment to one side, or to a particular solution or outcome.. Thanks for the reminder to loosen my tight-fisted way of thinking about all this.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment! Sometimes, we just need to take a breath and let things play out. I hope you are doing well. Cheers!