Today’s verse centres around the themes of living naturally, and letting go of control. I found it inspiring and humbling. Today, I strive to let go of my ideas of what I should do, and to do what is natural for me. This is very difficult because I have a lifetime of conditioning to overcome, but I seek to understand my true nature and to express it at the right time, in the right way.
Verse 29 [original]
Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.
Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled.
Trying to control leads to ruin.
Trying to grasp, we lose.
Allow your life to unfold naturally.
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection.
Just as you breathe in and breathe out,
there is a time for being ahead
and a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion
and a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous
and a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe
and a time for being in danger.
To the sage
all of life is a movement toward perfection,
so what need has he
for the excessive, the extravagant, or the extreme?
Verse 29 [my interpretation]
Do you think you could do a better job of running the universe?
It is absurd to think so.
The Tao is perfectly able to govern the nature of 10 000 things.
Everything that comes from the Tao is perfect as it is.
Trying to control or change something against its nature
leads only to disaster.
Like holding water in cupped hands,
the tighter you grasp it, the more it eludes you.
Know your nature and accept it.
Just as you breathe in and out,
there is a time for both yin and yang;
for doing and for doing nothing;
for resisting and for yielding;
for being energetic and for being peaceful.
Following our intrinsic nature is a path of endless perfection.
Why then would anyone wish to hoard the superfluous?