Part One: Clarity and Tranquility

This is an excerpt from the book, The Tao of Longevity (part one only)

The lesson of Oneness is one of the most important and key Tao principles for Tao Cultivators to master. As mentioned before, spiritual longevity leads to physical longevity. Oneness is one of the cultivating principles to work on for having success in life, especially for longevity. After all, you are crafting your destiny in every moment of every day so to heal, restore your vitality and maintain it for the long haul, Oneness is essential to cultivating spiritual longevity. We begin with Lao Tzu’s Chapter 39 which explains the what, why, and how to cultivate it.

 The chapter can be broken down into three parts in which I am sectioning into two parts as separate blog posts. Part one is a study of sections one including verses 1 -8, and Part Two are verses 9-14.  And Part Three is verses 15-21.

Part One. What is Oneness and how is it reflected in life, especially for Longevity?

The Chapter Study begins with part one which is the first 8 verses of Chapter 39. Its sub-title could be stated as You Mirror All Aspects of the Tao

Those that attained oneness since ancient times

The sky attained oneness and thus clarity

The earth attained oneness and thus tranquility

The Gods attained oneness and thus divinity

The valley attained oneness and thus abundance

The myriad things attained oneness and thus life

The rulers attained oneness and became the standard for the world

These all emerged from oneness

Verses 1 – 8, Chapter 39, Tao Te Ching

Oneness is referenced in three different chapters of the Tao Te Ching. It is featured in chapter 39 (above) and mentioned in chapters 10 and 56. You will notice as you read the Tao Te Ching that Lao Tzu uses local metaphors for perspective. These metaphors are historically contextual and may not make sense when you take the translations at face value. Here I am giving you a very basic explanation of what they mean to us now. For a deeper and more thorough understanding please watch Derek Lin’s YouTube video. See the links below.

The first seven verses are examples of different elements of existence in which oneness is reflected in our lives. We are reflections of the universe both internally and externally.  Tao cultivators understand that all perspectives of existence are reflected in each of us. Each of us is a reflection of the Tao. Above are seven different examples, and metaphors for seeing the different areas of existence in our life in which we are to mirror Oneness. As you read through these consider how they can be reflected in the different aspects of your life. to personally apply them.

The Sky has oneness when it is clear thus it has clarity. Not having oneness would be cloudy and stormy weather reflected as cloudy or turbid thinking. In life, we can avoid stormy weather by avoiding the egocentric activities and drama that distracts us and causes us to have stress and anxiety. A mind filled with drama, anger, arguing, and fighting is one that clouded my emotion and not thinking clearly. When we see things clearly as they truly are we have clarity. Then perception is free from distracting emotion and mood which often filters and distorts thinking. A good example is to think of when you are in a depressed mood and how ineffective your thoughts are at planning future events. When the spirit and mind are free of these, inspiration rises, and we know our path forward with confidence

With clarity, we are free and clear to observe and flow with life unimpeded. When the mind is clear there is oneness of the true self (spirit). This is clarity through oneness. With clarity, you can make sound and wise choices that advance success in your life.

The Earth has tranquility when it is without cataclysm which is most of the time. Most of the time the earth is stable. However, people are not so tranquil as they are often distracted with drama, debate, arguing, fighting and other negative traits opposite of tranquility.  When we are tranquil like the earth is most of the time, then life has stability. Earth here is a metaphor for heart and home which for most people is the center and foundation of life. Most of the time the earth is solid and still and is easy to stand and walk on. When you have tranquility in your heart and in your home which are the center of your life, it radiates outward into all the other aspects of life. How about your life? Is its lack of tranquility causing instability and distraction where you live and work? When we avoid egocentric drama and chaos, we lose our stable foundation for navigating life’s challenges. Too much turmoil erodes peace of mind and heart. When we are constantly bouncing around from one drama to another it is hard to enjoy life and be productive. Oneness in this perspective is to develop tranquility in life by avoiding the distractions and reactions of the emotional ego.

The Gods and divinity are a reflection of spirituality. When you can have oneness in your spiritual development you realize authentic spiritual wisdom. This is to say that when you have oneness in your spiritual life, you do your best to practice, to cultivate the spiritual lesson rather than to just go through the empty motions of being spiritual. The colloquial saying that comes to my mind is “to practice what you preach” or “walk to talk”. Those who just pretend to follow spiritual disciplines reveal their true nature in the things they do in life, in the way they interact with others, and in the lack of true leadership they portray. I am reminded of those who are pious on Sunday morning in the temple or church yet back to business-as-usual on Sunday Afternoon and the following week.

 The Valley and Abundance is reflected in our lives through Oneness of clarity and tranquility. The Valley is a metaphor for abundance having its origins in the way the ancients appreciated how the low areas between and following the mountains were where rich nutrients were deposited on a regular basis in the rivers and streams. Perhaps gold is a good example of how nuggets are found in the silt and sand of riverbeds in the valley of hills and mountains. How is abundance reflected in your life? Are you free from distractions and turmoil so that mind, body, and spirit are clear and tranquil so that you can manifest wealth? Or are you living a chaotic life always struggling from paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead? Wealth doesn’t have to be financial, it can also mean friendship, peace of mind, a happy family, employment, or even the physical locality of where you live.

The Myriad of Things and Life is a reflection for all living things on earth and their life vitality. Oneness with the Tao, to have clarity and tranquility promotes wellbeing and robust life energy, Qi. This energy is what makes life so good from both a health perspective, but also mood, outlook, and a positive perspective. Enjoyment of life is what all creatures seek. Without oneness which is to be without clarity and tranquility is to have low energy, low outlook, dark thoughts, and emotions, and too much suffering. Without Oneness life becomes stressful, dull, and filled with apathy and depression.

The Rulers and the World Standard. Rulers is a metaphor for leadership. When you have oneness, it is reflected in your life and people notice. They want to know the secret and by your example, you become a leader in the sense that people look up to you. You become an example of how good life can be. This verse is not so much about actual rulers, and it is about those who rule their life with clarity and tranquility. It pays off in so many positive ways that people will want to follow the example so their life will be good too.

  • Use Clarity of mind and spirit to attain oneness
  • Use Tranquility of heart and home to attain oneness
  • Use divinity (your spiritual discipline) to attain oneness
  • Use abundance to attain oneness
  • Use your robust life energy to attain oneness
  • Be an example for others (world standard) to attain oneness
  • There is a great story that gives a good example of how clarity brings about oneness to solve a difficult problem.

Now apply this to reflect your current longevity path.

Clarity: are you clear and committed to changing course away from what is damaging your health and well-being. Is it clear to you how you created your current situation?

Tranquility of heart: is your emotional heart filled with negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, worry, fear, aggression, etc.? Or is your heart calm and tranquil and able to have clarity?

“The Tao that is true and constant.

Those who realize it will attain it by themselves.

Those who realize and attain the Tao, will possess constant clarity and tranquility.

Chapter 12: Qingjing Jing [Chingjing Jing], also known as the Clarity and Tranquility Classic.

Divinity (Spirituality): Are you awakened as the true self and able to maintain the determination to stay on the path or is the ego controlling your life through choices that undermine longevity? Spirituality is the work of cultivating attainment of clarity and tranquility. “Those who realize it will attain it by themselves” means that seeking, the cultivation can only be done by you. Enlightenment or attainment is the result of one’s personal refinement that is the personal true path that they follow; they life that they live. No one can do for you. No one can give it to you. You must seek, find and cultivate clarity and tranquility for yourself. Spiritual teachers can only point the way, it is up to you to understand it, use it, and refine your attainment.

Abundance: Is your life filled everything you need to live a long healthy life? Or has a lack of clarity, tranquility and Spiritual power allowed the ego to deplete the things you need to live comfortably?

Life: The myriad of things: within your life, your body, your mind, are the elements that make up your life. Are they reflecting wellbeing prosperity and heath? Or are they tired, sick, weak, and low on resources?

The Rulers of the World: The most successful rulers/leaders are those who have been promoted by their peers. Because they reflect the Tao, people notice the success and life skills. They want to seek to learn and associate with success from those who have attainment. People will naturally follow them. This is what Lao Tzu means by
The Rulers of the World”. Those who rise to true leadership through attaining the Tao.

Are you being viewed as someone who is at the top of their Longevity practice?

How likely are your peers to recognize the virtue of Clarity and Tranquility within you?

How likely is it that others will notice your fitness level, your health, happiness, and wellbeing and want to know what you are doing? Or are you an example of what not to do.