Verse 6 "The Valley Spirit"
The spirit of life always has been.
In the Valley of life, it springs out of nothing,
Pure and enduring, without end.
It is creation itself, bringing all to perfection.
Mysteries within mysteries.
Mother of all. We all come from her.
It’s interesting that Lao Tzu puts this verse right after our discovery that we, everyone and everything is amazing. Everything that springs to life has a path towards perfection. This can be a hard pill to swallow when, as we age, it seems that we are getting further and further from this state of perfection. I think that the aging process can be quite a challenge, and for some more than others. But this is the body you were born into… not the 'I' that lives within your bodily frame.
As our body grows older, everything from our youth seems easier. When we age the body stiffens, and as we will see in Verse 10, 'how do we remain as supple as a child' Lao refers to our response to life and aging. Have you heard the saying, 'you're only as old as you feel'? Well, that depends on where your focus is. If I'm 80 years old and my focus is primarily on my aging body, I might feel every bit of 80 years old if not older. But if my focus is on who I am and where I originated from, then I can look on this in a different way. Don't get me wrong, pain, stiff joints and health issues can really take your focus way away from this idyllic way of being. But we are not only our body. There lives within us an identity we call 'I' or 'Me'.
What Lao is trying to relay to us I believe is this inner neutral way of looking at who we are, where we came from and where we are going. It’s a process of perfection through a journey we call life, and it comes down to our response to what’s happening in and around us as we age. Look at plants as they grown, mature, shrivel up and then become fertilizer for the next generation of plants. Now I'm not saying our bodies become fertilizer for the plants and trees, what I'm trying to say is, it’s our response to this process that will live on in future generations. We all must age! But we can choose to either kick, fight and complain all the way through the process, or to live through it with grace and dignity.
However this is only one part of the story in Verse 6 of the TTC. This verse also tells us that life springs from nothing and is eternal and that we all come from this eternal ever-giving and everlasting mother of all and that we possess within us this same ever-giving and everlasting characteristic. This 'I' that lives within us is a total mystery. Are we here living through our bodily experience or through our potential, the mysterious 'I' that is within us? I believe that the 'I' stands for our 'Imagination'. Is it our imagination that makes us who we are? This is where we start the creation process that exists within all of us.
The Spirit of Life brings the mysterious into and out of being through the process of our imagination allowing us to fully experience this world we live in. In the words of Wayne Dyer, "We come from No Where to Now Here".
I love Wayne Dyers’ 'NOWHERE' analogy.
I believe we came from No Where.
We Show up, and we are Now Here.
It's all the same. It just a question of spacing
I want to take this further by comparing the spacing in our life as our response to it. This is what determines our 'Now Here' experience through our imagination to create. Do we live with creativity and purpose, or do we let life just happen to us? It’s our choice to either tap into this source or just ignore it. As Lao-Tzu said in the previous verse, we need to 'Listen more, speak less, and be still. What is, is within. Be Free … And you will find home.'
The place we call home, the 'I' within, our imagination, is our choice. We need to use our imagination carefully.
Thank You for Verse 6.
1: Thank You for my body which allows me to experience the 'I' that lives within me.
2: Thank You for my imagination to create my world.
3: Thank You for showing me my choice to respond to life through the mystery that lives within me.
(C) Copyright 2022 Written by Mark Wattis. All Rights Reserved. No duplication without permission.