More wisdom from the Tao Te Ching

I was reading the Tao Te Ching this morning and I found this thought provoking bit of wisdom:

The following translation of chapter 46 is by Charles Muller:

When the Tao prevails in the land
The horses leisurely graze and fertilize the ground.
when the Tao is lacking in the land
War horses are bred outside the city.
Natural disasters are not as bad as not knowing what is enough.
Loss is not as bad as wanting more.
Therefore the sufficiency that comes from knowing what is enough
is an eternal suffiiciency.

If there is any bit of wisdom that we need to hear in our day, it is words that will stimulate our exploration into what is enough . The wars we fight to gain, the extreme measures we take to avoid loss. The earth is balanced to facilitate change that works together (loss and gain). Change is certain, and from it comes loss (or suffering in the Buddhist tradition) and gain. We may (or pretend) be able to manipulate circumstances for a short time, but that, typically, is at great cost and after that, great loss. Better to move with the change, appreciate all that is brought in the gain and the loss. Such is the goal in life: harmony.

The other thing that comes to mind is knowing “what is enough.” That is something that we don’t do very well today, something that I don’t do. These days we are full of desires, and the lack of fulfilling these desires causes frustration, anger, pain. Even when one gets that for which they desire, that gain is often followed, at some point, by loss. I appreciate the taoist perspective, because it instructs one to live in the moment, embracing all that comes with it, yet constantly aware that change is coming.

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