Monday, October 06, 2008

Stirring The Embers

Compared to the cool weather we've been having lately, today is going to be a hot day with temperatures in the high 80's. I am not happy about it. I console myself knowing it won't last. It was another busy weekend. After running a few errands on Saturday morning my wife and I headed to my mother in laws retirement home. It was time for the annual Octoberfest which is the social event of the year for all the elderly people who live there. When we arrived my poor mother in law was still in bed and totally unaware of the event. We got her up and dressed and then preceded to wheel her across the street to where the festivities would be held. We were joined there by Chloe and her parents as well as one of my sister in laws. It was a nice affair and many people seemed to enjoy it. Occasionally my mother in law would smile or talk but most of the time she was staring into space. She and my Dad remind me of a fire that has been reduced to glowing embers. There's no flame but there is still some warmth. If you stir the embers you might get a little flame but you will never get a big fire again. There was a time my mother in law could have put on the Octoberfest. It is difficult for children to see their parents in their decline. The rest of the weekend I had a little girl named Chloe at my house. She's the other end of the spectrum. As our parent's lights seem to dim, Chloe's burns brighter all the time. She is so full of life that my wife and I can barely keep up. She is full of wonder and imagination and she's a master of mindfulness. She is present to the moment in a way that makes me look like an amateur. She's also quite the conversationalist. She tells me stories of her Mom and Dad, her dog, Cosmo, her friends at school and SpongeBob Squarepants. During many of the stories she's laughing to the point she can barely get the story out. During one storytelling session in bed on Saturday night, Granny finally yelled at both of us and told us to get to sleep. Trust me, you don't want to be around the Queen if she hasn't had her sleep. Eventually Chloe and I quieted down and went to sleep. We started up again at 7:30 AM on Sunday when she woke me up and told me it was time for coffee.

Admittedly, I have been scattered in my reading. One of the downfalls of being a lover of books is that you are easily seduced by new books. I have three or four going at the time but one of them is still the Tao Te Ching. Here's the 25th verse.

There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born. It is serene, empty, solitary, unchanging, infinite, and eternally present. For lack of a better name, I call it Tao. I call it great. Great is boundless; boundless is eternally flowing; ever flowing, it is constantly returning.Therefore the Way is great, heaven is great, earth is great, people are great. Thus, to know humanity, understand earth.To know earth, understand heaven.To know heaven, understand the Way.To know the way, understand the great within yourself.

One of the things that Lao-tzu is teaching us is to trust in our own greatness. You are not the body you occupy, which is temporary and on its way back to the nowhere from which it came. You are pure greatness, precisely the same greatness that creates all of life. Greatness attracts greatness. The Tao Te Ching gives us the following affirmation: I come from greatness. I attract greatness. I am greatness. We must change our attitudes from "It probably won't happen to me" to "It is on it's way". You get what you think about, whether you want it or not. Finally, this verse of the Tao Te Ching tells us "I must be like what I came from. I will never abandon my belief in my greatness or the greatness of others". Make this your daily mantra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the essence of that is that the idea that the greatness of others is as essential as our own.