The Tao of Oneness continued.
Part Two of this Chapter (the middle part) indicates what happens without oneness.
The sky, lacking clarity, would break apart
The earth, lacking tranquility, would erupt
The gods, lacking divinity, would vanish
The valley, lacking abundance, would wither
Myriad things, lacking life, would be extinct
The rulers, lacking standard, would be toppled.
Verses 9-14, Chapter 39, Tao Te ChingLao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching translated and annotated by Derek Lin.
When the weather is stormy, the skies are cloudy and not clear When our minds are having stormy weather, our choices, and decisions lead to negative results.
When the earth erupts can be like a volcanic eruption which is a good example of what happens when people lose their temper. Anger and violence create cataclysmic mistakes to happen and create tensions, strife, violence, and devastation.
When spirituality is put aside or forgotten, a person loses the benefits that come with it such as wisdom, discipline, and faith. When cultivation stops, we become vulnerable to mistakes and consequences.
When the valley and the river that provides nutrients (abundance) dries up and all those living things that are dependent on it begin to wither away.
When the myriad of living creatures lacks vital life energy die off which leads to extinction. In a more modern and personal context, this means health. Without oneness health declines and will lead to death.
When rulers lack the world standard (being a good example), people no longer listen or follow them. They are no longer looked up to or be seen as someone to follow, to be a source of advice, and lack of credibility. Without oneness they become irrelevant. loss of oneness leads to as reflected in the sky, earth, divinity, fertile valley, life, and leadership:
- A lack of clarity (being clear-minded and having understanding).
- Cataclysmic results interrupt well-being and brings about suffering.
- Spirituality (divineness) begins to erode and disappear which leads to the emptiness of purpose, and spiritually void and empty. (Ego will fill the void).
- A lack of abundance in its many examples. Quality of life withers and suffering fills the void.
- Loss of health and well-being. Atrophy sets in and unless it is turned around will lead to death.
- Rejection and loss of natural leadership. You become at best irrelevant, and no one will see you as someone to follow or listen to because of such poor performance in life.
In summary, these reflections of existence deteriorate.
The benefits of oneness:
- Divinity (Spirituality)
- Physical Life and Health
The consequences of not having oneness:
- Unclear judgment and thinking
- Destruction and life coming apart in disintegrating fragments
- Being controlled by ego and its emotions
- Poor health leads to death
- Becoming an example of failure in life (how to not live life)
You can see the importance of Oneness. So, what is Oneness?
Answering this question requires examination from three aspects. Unity, Connectivity, and the One True Path.
Unity. It begins with the perspective of the unity of all things into one reality. On the grandest scale, this would be the universe and everything in it as one collective. Oneness of the Tao begins at the personal level which is relevant because our lives reflect all other aspects of the Tao. It’s a pattern that you will recognize.
For example, we can see that the universe is not empty but filled with stars, gasses, planets, and other elements. It is a collection in a working system that is thought to begin with the big bang.
A reflection of that system is the human body. We are a universe contained within our physical bodies. We have many different elements from a skeletal bone structure down to the microscopic cells that keep us alive. We even have life forms living in symbiosis within our gut. From large down to small it is a living system, a collective that works in harmony. Taken to an even smaller level, such as microscopic, atomic, and quantum, the same pattern is seen. It is a collective of many parts unified and inseparable.
Connectivity. Another perspective is to see oneness as the connectivity between us as a people. Collectively we are one, yet despite being individuals we are all connected. The perspective of being separated from everyone else is an illusion that is opposite from Oneness. This [illusion] or desire to be separated from everyone else leads to division and separation. Lack of unity and divisiveness creates strife and conflict. Unity opens the way for cooperative harmony. Unity is Oneness. Reasonable people will see this to be true on every level beginning with everyone in your neighborhood, in your town, in your state, in your country, and especially throughout the world. Together we have Oneness. When as a world society we develop Harmony, prosperity and well-being follow. When we have disparity and disharmony between societies, we have war, famine, and large-scale suffering. There is Harmony when people ascend the ego mind. There is disharmony when people are prisoners of their egos. Those who find their true path, join with others who are where the unity brings widescale well-being. When ego-centric people collectively follow their own self-destructive paths there is widescale suffering.
The third aspect of Oneness is the One True Path which is a rich topic and is revealed in detail in Part Two of the Oneness Feature. This post is just a paraphrase of Derek Lin’s Lecture on Oneness. This has been just a brief report on what he goes into detail about. Here are the links to the lectures that this lesson is sourced from. I invite you to watch and listen to the in-depth translation and explanation of this very important Tao principle.
(The Third Part of the chapter on Oneness) How to Attain it.
The Tao of Oneness – Finding the One True Path
Therefore, the honored uses the lowly as basis
The higher uses the lower as foundation
Thus, the rulers call themselves alone, bereft, and unworthy
Is this not using the lowly as basis? Is it not so?
Therefore, the ultimate honor is no honor
Do no wish to be shiny like jade
Be dull like rocks
Verses 15-21, Chapter 39, Tao Te Ching
The One True Path.
Parts One and Two ended with two of the three aspects of Oneness. They were Unity and Connectedness. The third aspect of Oneness with the Tao is finding and staying on the One True Path to attain oneness. Attaining oneness is to gain:
- Clarity of mind and spirit
- Tranquility of heart
- Divinity (Spirituality, Self-Awareness, Awakening)
- Abundance (robust fitness for longevity)
- Robust life energy (Qi) to maintain and enjoy life
- Sought out by others due to success (example for others)
The One True Path is the one that is unified with Tao teachings. It is the one that creates, sustains, and promotes successful living. The Tao, also known as “The Way,” is the one True Path. This aspect of how to be on the One Path is something that most people will not recognize with a skilled teacher to point out the intentions of Lao Tzu. Which path is the true one? You must seek that answer by finding clarity. As mentions above, you must do this yourself. It happens through practice, trial, and error. This is what cultivation is. How do you know if you are being successful? Karma is your judge by enacting cause an effect. You will know when life becomes simpler and better. You will know when your spirit is right (clarity), and your heart is tranquil. You will know when the people around you start to notice and want to mirror what you do and have.
The True Path is the most optimal and beneficial. When you sit and contemplate this you can get a sense of which way to go, which path to take. In those moments of choice when destiny awaits, and you step forth carefully with wisdom.
Your true path is unique to you. Of the many choices, only one is the true one, the most optimal. Tao cultivators have learned that the Tao teachings reveal which path, is right and which is wrong. This one true path is that which has Oneness of the Tao and not the distracted side paths of the ego.
Here are some steps for finding and attaining Oneness of the Tao. This section is characterized by the virtue of Humility.
- Humility becomes the way for self-honesty. With self-honesty you can take ownership of your faults and change your ways. As you contemplate what this all means to you personally, ask yourself what is it that you need to master to attain Oneness? What is it you will commit to? What speaks to you in such a way, that you are willing to invest in and stick with for the long term. For me it is writing this book and sharing what I learn through blogging. I do this because I have seen it work in my life. This can be one of the most important decisions you make, so think carefully about it before vowing and committing to it.
- As you consider this be truthful with your self-talk. What are you holding in your heart and mind? What is the underlying intention behind your consideration? Your motivation should come from a place of gratitude. Solid intention and a foundation of gratitude are necessary parts of the recipe for Oneness to work.
- These two virtues will empower and motivate you for action, which is the next step in the process. As you experience the benefits of Oneness the feeling of gratitude will join with the intention to share what you found with others. As you gain clarity and tranquility, Oneness arises. As you begin to master Oneness you will look back at the past with a feeling of never wanting to repeat the lack of vision, the instability, the spiritual awakening, the lack of abundance, and lack of leadership amongst your peers. Naturally having transcended that you will feel grateful for your newfound wisdom. As you begin to attain Oneness, your success will be noticed by others. They will want to know what the secret is and you naturally attain leadership by request.
- Then you will gladly take the next steps because you know how effective they are, and you want others to receive the same benefits. These actions become second nature and will compound over time leading to a mastery of life.
- The Protocol steps and levels listed above are:
There is an alchemy of bringing these spiritual ingredients together in such a way that the sum is greater than the individual parts. The result is Oneness and the One True Path. For true results, practice this every day until it becomes second nature over time. Be patient and remember why you committed to the process.
With Humility in your heart, you start over and begin taking small steps following the protocol above. Begin and build from the ground up so that you have a strong foundation. Make a commitment to yourself to finish what you start and do a good job. Success at this commitment will help you develop the right intention where you realize a sense of true gratitude about being able to improve your well-being, quality of life and longevity. With Gratitude you take actions with courage and confidence because you know that the process works through experience. After a time of success, you will realize that are ascending toward Mastery. With mastery, comes the natural leadership for those who want to know how you do it. With Humility as your foundation, you will not let ego go to your head and stray from the path.
Know that you will have setbacks which are inevitable in training, so know what to do when it happens. Meditation and mindfulness are the self-management skills to deal with those days when can’t hold Oneness. When you can become aware of your cloudy and turbid mind you can find the Clarity and Tranquility that you need through meditation. Mindfulness practice helps you to pay attention and notice the moments when you have lack of Clarity, and the mind is not tranquil.
When you lose your feeling of gratitude due to the inevitable times when the challenges of life temporarily distract us from our higher self. In those times you can step back (mentally) and remember those times in your life where you were experiencing life with contentment and joy.
- Remember those things that you have experienced and are grateful for. Look at some photos of time where you were really enjoying life.
- Remember how as you attained Clarity in other areas how it brought more success and joy to life.
- Think of people who love you
- Think of people who you love and enjoy spending your life with
- Take some self-time to enjoy a moment in life again.
- Look at all you have accomplished through Oneness up to this point.
- Be humble and recognize the fault and resolve to do better.
Summary: Oneness is a powerful Tao Virtue that will improve every aspect of life that you practice it in. As stated in the beginning of this chapter, Oneness is reflected in every aspect of life, especially in spiritual longevity. Spiritual Longevity opens the way for Physical Longevity.
- Cultivate Oneness through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Spiritual Cultivation.
- Through Tranquility and Clarity discover your true self and your true path.
- Let humility and gratitude be the foundation virtue and guide for attaining Oneness
- By adhering to and following your true path, you will transform your life by reducing suffering, achieving Wellbeing and Longevity.
For a deeper insight into Oneness, watch the original lecture from Tao Teach Derek Lin.
Chapter 39 Part Two: – What happens when you do not have Oneness,
Section Two: Oneness
https://youtu.be/eR6UZoaQk20 April 20th, 2020