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The Tao of Heaven and the Tao of Man

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In Lao Zi (Dao De Jing), these two ways are in opposition and in relation.

The distinction between the two is very important: the Tao of Heaven is an example of natural, non-discrimination and spontaneity … a model for humans.

The nature, the universe and all changes under the sky that make up “the Way of Heaven.”

This way is perceptible with a focus on something other than itself, in the simplicity of the observation (Yi Jing).

The Tao of man is an assortment of mechanisms of bad functioning of our mental ego, compulsive thoughts and the defense of our illusory importance.

In chapters 77 and 79, we see the differences and commonalities of these two sides of the Way. This comparison will help us look for the Way of Heaven an inspiration to live in harmony with the changing world.

Chapter 77

The Tao of Heaven resembles archery?
The upper part goes down and the bottom up,
The excess is reduced and the insufficient increased.

The Tao of Heaven reduces the excess,
And increases insufficient.
The Tao of man is the opposite:
It reduces what is insufficient,
And adds to what is excessive.

Which is capable of giving unnecessary?
Only those who follow the Tao!
The Sage does not accumulate for himself,
Also he shares with others, the more he has,
The more he gives to others, the more he is rich.

The Tao of Heaven is good for all, it does not cause suffering,
The Sage acts without being in competition with others.

The allegory explains how the Tao of heaven is that of archery.

More specifically, the moment of aiming with the bow taut. In the dynamic tension of life, in connection with the tension of the taut bow, it is simple adjustments to maintain the right direction to go toward the target.

The bottom rises to aim, and the top is adjusted downward to balance yin and yang.

Lao Zi here will give his interpretation of what should be done in everyday life, with the perceived changes, if if there is not enough, we must add, if there is too much, then spend.

But man often goes the other way, without respect for this innate sense of what is the Way.

The cycles of nature, life and death, happiness and unhappiness following the Way of Heaven, not the way of men, there is no logic to human life cycles.

The way welcomes humans, must go in the direction of the world, not the reverse.

Lao Zi was against the idea of accumulating wealth for the satisfaction of having done the most, and to invade his neighbors to show strength: it’s a mistake to show his strength to remain in a competitive tension.

Search for power and the lack of power of the internal union with the world is going nowhere, it is a pathological relationship with the world.

The malaise of the human who feels this internal emptiness and that pushes us shopping, today pushed the generals of the age of Lao Zi to struggle constantly to establish their sickly power.

In several other versions of Dao De Jing, the end of this chapter is added to the next chapter, but in the logic that we follow, it makes sense to put these lines here.

Through observation of natural phenomena such as transitions and changes, movement and stillness, growth and decline, the rise and descent and the life and death of everything that makes the world, concluded Lao Zi that there is a Tao of Heaven.

The Natural Way, which governs the world of nature leaves things to become what it should become, without order or without domination or intentional action and it is possible to understand the changes in the world, to go in their direction.

The Tao of Heaven is the heart of the balance of the universe all of manifestation. This unhealthy competitiveness based on the malaise of humanity separated from union of the universal balance the desire to impose and dominate, control and decide what will be called the Tao of man.

The Tao of the human is a compensation of the ego to try to dominate the cycles of the universe, it is pointless and a source of dissatisfaction.

The insatiable excitement of desires and corruption of the way of man, the diseased need for possessions will lead to domination or conflict with our neighbour, discrimination in social classes and ethnic groups, all this leads to conflicts and disorder, suffering and destruction.

It is necessary that man follow the Way of Heaven for its durability. For relaxation and thus listening, people can better understand the changes of nature and the world around him. In practice, it educates his attention, and his observation, to blend in with the changes of Heaven.

By rolling gently in the current, as the swimmer of Tchouan Zi, humans will be able to follow without any destructive order of things, the non action par excellence, the practical understanding of the Book of Changes, the Yi Jing.

Today’s world is turned outwards and glitters, which impresses and making noise, which distracts and is what prevents simple reflection, this is a world where silence is too absent to hear.

In this noise, we can not achieve the peace that is what we really are, we must work to return to our nature buried under layers of learning and society, shaped by the world of thoughts and futility.

This personal nature will awaken the dormant in us and allow us to rejoin ourselves, in accordance with the Way of Heaven.

Chapter 79

Reconciling both sides who hate,
We will surely have a little hate.
If we replace evil with good,
How can I find a good solution?
For that the Sage keeps the recognition of debt,
And requires no repayment.
The man of the Way is generous and doesn’t reclaim,
While the man outside the way is hard and calculating.
The Tao of Heaven does not have preferences,
It is always with those who follow the Way.

In mundane matters, logical solutions can not treat mental or emotional injury. Mental discrimination still leave a problem unsolved, justice can not transform the unease of man.

Only spirituality, awareness, can help man deeply, without leaving a bitter taste.

In ancient China, in a contract, each participant kept a part of the contract.

The left side was the one who would earn money or was selling, the right for the other the one that was purchasing.

If asked what we owed by contract, it was necessary to “give the left side.”

In the text it is recommended that you “do not call the left” or translated here by:

For that the Sage keeps the recognition of debt,
And requires no repayment.

This contract was at the time of Lao Zi, a piece of wood with the terms of the contract which was cut into two pieces.

“The Tao of Heaven does not have a preference” is similar to: “Heaven and Earth are not humans, everything has the same treatment, preferably not in nature unlike the Tao of the man.

For a path that goes in the direction of movement towards a world that follows the Tao of Heaven, the man does not always follow logic, he must let go in the silence and relaxation of the Way. In listening, he can have access to what is already in him, what he knows without being told.

In the way, justice will be served, but because there will be more conflict, not because of just struggles. We can not heal the wounds that have roots with emotional and mental with gifts or punishments.

To alleviate the pain of the people it is necessary to know the Way. By doing it in an intimate relationship with the world of natural changes and oneself, problems will dissolve without being understood.

“How can I find a good solution?”

By practice and observation of the world of changes and the fusion of our character with the Tao of Heaven.

Relaxation leads to the possibility of perceiving simply.

This perception gives us a way to travel in the respect of the reality of the world.

This is the Way.