Sunday 4-13-14 Imagine

“When the greatness of the Tao is present, action arises from one’s own heart.  When the greatness of the Tao is absent, action comes from the rules of “kindness and justice.” ~ Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching, 18th verse

Happy Sunday!

When I started reading the Tao Te Ching a couple of months ago, the ‘Feng and English’ version had an introduction by Jacob Needleman explaining that ‘Te’ meant virtue but not in the moral action sense that we may define it but, that “Te refers to nothing less that the quality of human action that allows the central, creative power of the universe to manifest through it.”
I was curious about this idea of virtue so it has been a thought in my mind to learn about.
Early this week I was out driving to a job site in a work vehicle where the radio was tuned into a NJ talk radio channel.  The conversation on the radio was about a millionaire’s tax being considered by the State.  The DJ was voicing her opinion that this would be against the ideals of our society, it being a penalty for obtaining success which is the goal we all have for ourselves and our children.  Part of me is in support of the tax because I know it could do much good in the way of funding for human services but I could also see her point.  I came away with the thought that if we could only Love one another as we should then government wouldn’t have to regulate sharing and caring.  “There has got to be a better way?” I thought to myself.
Friday evening I was out for dinner with Peter and our conversation went down this path,  our thoughts on finding a better way to work through the struggles of society.  Peter said that if society had values that included caring and justice for each person than many laws would not be needed.  This is just where my mind was heading in my thoughts about the millionaires tax.
Saturday morning my ‘Bowl of Saki’ email was on the same subject, it said:

“The ideal of God is a bridge connecting the limited life with the unlimited; whosoever travels over this bridge passes safely from the limited to the unlimited life.” ~ Bowl of Saki, April 12, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

“There is a side in man’s being – call it spirit – which remains unsatisfied with all that one has attained in one’s lifetime. The satisfaction of the spirit, which is the deepest being of man, lies only in the pursuit of the ideal. With all progress that humanity makes, idealism neglected will show at each step towards progress a great lack, and nothing can substitute that lack. If there is anything that fills the gap, if there is anything that makes a bridge between God and man, it is the ideal.” ~ “The Message Papers, The Message”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

A few places in the email message the term “God-ideal” is used; to me this means to live with the awareness that there is something greater than myself that I am part of – it changes my perspective, inspiring me to always be willing to do my best and to be compassionate.
“God is Love and therefore so am I” ~ ACIM
We have ideals that we take on from our family, our culture, our religion.  I mentioned one earlier that our society has the ideal of success which most people would associate with having enough money to be secure in your chosen lifestyle.  We are raised with ideals of what it means to be a good person, a good parent, good worker, and contributing member of society.  These ideals create the reasons for our actions so we don’t hurt another because society will put us in jail; we work hard because otherwise we might get fired and then be rejected by society, be labeled a failure, perhaps ending up on the fringe as homeless; we pay our taxes, which may sooth that inner guilt of not serving others, putting the burden on government to serve the needy.
What if the ideal of our society was to live with an open heart?  What if we actually cared for each other and treated each other as we want ourselves and our loved ones to be treated?
I see that I can raise my ideals, my values, to stay conscious of the God-ideal.  Instead of making decisions based on the lesser ideals of our materialistic world I can choose to act in a more caring compassionate way.  This is what the 18th verse of the Tao Te Ching is saying – if we all lived from our hearts than there would no need for laws to force us to behave with consideration for others.
Imagine!  (John Lennon knew what he was talking about).
This morning I went back and read about the meaning of virtue in the Tao Te Ching introduction by Jacob Needleman.  If the Tao is ‘all there is’, that we westerners call God, than Virtue is the force of moving in and out of God. Needleman says “This movement from the nameless source to the ten thousand things is Te.  Human beings are created to receive this force consciously and are called to allow their actions to manifest that force.  Such conscious receiving in human life is called Virtue.”
Is this the Holy Spirit – the active force that is our connection to God?
This Sunday I am brought a greater understanding of Virtue.  It is not just my choice to act morally based on expectations of society.  Being Virtuous is that connection I feel when my energy is raised to connect with my Source.  It is my willingness to make choices in my life based on my conscious awareness of my connection to everything and everyone around me.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.