What’s perfectly whole seems flawed,
but you can use it forever.
What’s perfectly full seems empty,
but you can’t use it up.
True straightness looks crooked.
Great skill looks clumsy.
Real eloquence seems to stammer.
To be comfortable in the cold, keep moving;
to be comfortable in the heat, hold still;
to be comfortable in the world, stay calm and clear.
More balance and harmony of disparate images and ideas, and then it ends in clear and simple statements that are hard to argue with. Movement will keep you warm in the cold, stillness will keep you cool in the heat, and calmness and clarity will make life more pleasant in the world.
I think this is what draws me continually back to the Tao and this text. The simplicity. The stillness. The calmness. And the clarity.
I know some will read this and find it opaque, but, as I’ve said many times, it all fits so easily into me. These words, the simple language used. Perhaps it’s because life is sometimes so complicated that I want to reduce it down to its fundamental parts. Perhaps it’s a sort of utopic idealisation.
But I think it’s something more. Something even simpler. It’s a comfort to simplify and clarify your life and intentions. Things become muddled and complicated because we lack clarity, vision, sincerity, and calmness. The world is such an anxious realm. Overflowing with anxiety and nervousness. It’s easy to get sucked in and believe that the neurosis of modern life is a necessity rather than a symptom of the disease created by humanity’s disharmony with the earth.
And so I often want to get back to this simplicity, this clarity, this sincerity, this humor, and find the Way through the anxiety and restlessness that is a plague incubated and spread by us.
Be calm. Be still. Find clarity.
Consider this for today.