Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On Being Soft

Scott Bradley


The Tao is so empty
those who use it
never become full again...
it dulls our edges
unties our tangles
softens our light
and merges our dust.
(Taoteching, Verse 4; Red Pine)

The way of Laozi is a way of yielding, of openness, of acceptance, of softness. It is a way of the valley, of the archetypical female. Perhaps there is a way of assertiveness, of judgment and hardness. I do not know. Only I know that such a way would be for me a way of egoic bondage, for it would only confirm what this ego is and wishes to be.

Is Tao something we can use? Why not? It is only that which lies beyond all boundaries. To yield to this, to surrender into this limitless void, is indeed to use it. And in yielding we become like Tao. We too become empty — as a bowl is empty, always ready to receive.

The bed of the Great River
is ever empty.
Thus through it
the mighty waters flow.

Who would have believed that to be dulled and dimmed would be a way to harmony? My edges are opinions; they set me against and exclude others. My light is hard and glaring; it seeks to know, possess and subdue. And these are what create my tangles and scatter my heart like dust.

Surrendering into Tao one becomes as Tao. All is included. All is affirmed. The heart is softened to receive all things.

Tao sits on no throne;
lords over none.
It is the emptiness from which everything does flow.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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