I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. – Forrest Gump
I finished Tao Teh Ching on Sunday, and I also watched Forrest Gump for the first time.
First of all, what a good combination, especially for someone in the midst of soul-searching.
I told the Super Ninja a few days ago that the Tao Teh Ching is a work that resonates with me spiritually and philosophically. I am a big believer in the forces we can’t control; they have a way of correcting our wrong turns.
I brought up my Chinese humanities course in the last post, although I mostly spoke about resonance and used poetry as an example. Now, in that same class, I was introduced to the both the Confucian and Taoist ways of thinking. To boil it down (in the way our class had to) in the interest of time, Taoism (to me) seems to focus on non-interference in the way of the world.
After my initial reading of the Tao Teh Ching (and yes, there will be a second reading), I came away with several observations. Humbleness is desirable. Those who are humble do not desire to parade their status or achievements, and as such, they do not cause others to want what they (others) do not themselves have. This coveting of materials or status or other interests disrupts natural harmony. Disrupting harmony and flow leads to more trouble. We, as humans, should not try to change the way of the world to suit our individual wants. When we do, we end up with nasty oil spills, wars, and cultures enamored with painkillers and beautiful, plastic celebrities.
We end up empty. We end up unhappy.
Like Forrest said, maybe both our personal destinies and the random blowing of the wind are working together. If we don’t meddle, things will fall into place.
That is why resonance is growing in importance to me. I believe in chasing your dreams and being your own person. We end up where we’re supposed to be by letting go and listening to that crazy little voice inside our heads and hearts. And I like to think that we all end up with who we’re supposed to be with by letting the universe do its own thing.
Take my friend T and her man, the Lineman. T and Lineman dated years ago, when we were all in high school, and they seemed destined to be together. Then the unthinkable happened, and they split up. Every now and then, they caught up on each others’ lives, and this went on for about four years. T was still on the hunt for the love of her life, and after a “catch-up” call with the Lineman, she realized what she had been looking for was right in front of her. They’re getting married in less than 2 weeks now, and I’m truly excited for them.
Look at my parents. They have a thirty-one year age difference between them, yet they have been married for over thirty-two years. They’re still in love, and just the other day, my dad pointed at my mom and told me, “It’s hard to find another one like her.” The circumstances under which they found each other are another example of how life works itself in strange and funny ways.
Of course, life works in funny ways in everything, not just looooove. Friendship, adventure, personal growth, whatever. So to me, of course it makes sense to let go, live simply, and in that, live fully.
Although I was raised Catholic, my spirituality seems to align more with eastern ways of thinking. Even in middle school, after learning briefly about Buddhism, I felt like that particular way of thought made sense to me. Maybe it has to do with an ancient flow of energy, stemming from my ancestral proximity to the East. Or maybe it’s simply just the way my day-dreaming self works. Whatever it is, there’s resonance in those ways of thought, and I can’t ignore that.
Where will the wind take me on my next grand adventure?