The heavy is the root of the light;
The still is the master of unrest.
Therefore the sage, traveling all day,
Does not lose sight of his baggage.
Though there are beautiful things to be seen,
He remains unattached and calm.
Why should the lord of ten thousand chariots
act lightly in public?
To be light is to lose one's root.
To be restless is to lose one's control
~ Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English ~
To be perfectly frank, this verse doesn't speak to me at all. It's not that it doesn't contain an important message, it's more that I've read over it several times and nothing jumps out to grab me by the heart. So, I'm going to quote from Kyle Walker of The Doubtful Tao and, hopefully, some of you will add your own two cents worth!
This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.When I was in the Army, we worked every day on our vehicles. I was an infantry mortar man in a motorized mortar platoon, and our cannons were mounted inside metal shoeboxes called PCs - personnel carriers. There are a gazillion ways you can hurt yourself working in, on, or around these beasts, and the Army is nothing if not safety-conscious. Whenever we were on top of our PC, no matter what we were doing we were required to always maintain “three points of contact.” In other words, you could only have one limb waving around in the air at a time - the other three had to be supporting your weight somehow and keeping you balanced. It always seemed rather over-zealous to me until one day I saw a man fall and have his finger ripped off for neglecting this rule. Suddenly it made perfect sense.
Most of the time I’m walking through life with just two points of contact; my feet are usually firmly planted on the ground. But I take this for granted. And then when I get scared or confused, I find myself flailing in the wind and lost to any sense of direction. I can’t see straight to make decisions, and if I let the fear go on long enough, I might even lose sight of the ground - i.e. hope - altogether. In the past, this could put me in a very bad place.
The 26th verse of the Tao Te Ching reminds me to maintain my three points of contact at all times. And when the wind blows or the earth shakes, I won’t fall... because I’m grounded...Read the rest.