The Tao Te Ching on Compassion and Vulnerability
“To be whole, let yourself break.
To be straight, let yourself bend.
To be full, let yourself be empty.
To be new, let yourself wear out.
To have everything, give everything up.
Knowing others is a kind of knowledge;
knowing yourself is wisdom.
Conquering others requires strength;
conquering yourself is true power.
To realize that you have enough is true wealth.
Pushing ahead may succeed,
but staying put brings endurance.
Die without perishing, and find the eternal.
To know that you do not know is strength.
Not knowing that you do not know is a sickness.
The cure begins with the recognition of the sickness.
Knowing what is permanent: enlightenment.
Not knowing what is permanent: disaster.
Knowing what is permanent opens the mind.
Open mind, open heart.
Open heart, magnanimity.”
CS Lewis’ book The Four Loves
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
Yogic Inspiration from The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Love, joy, and peace cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from mind dominance. But they are not what I would call emotions. They lie beyond the emotions, on a much deeper level. So you need to become fully conscious of your emotions and be able to feel them before you can feel that which lies beyond them. Emotion literally means “disturbance.” 24
All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence….Presence is the key to freedom, so you can only be free now. 50-51
To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.
Ordinary consciousness is always linked in some way with denial of the Now. The Now, of course, also implies the here. Are you resisting you’re here and now? Some people would always rather be somewhere else. Their “here” is never good enough. Through self-observation, find out if that is the case in your life. Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find you’re here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself form the situation, change it, or accept it totally…No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear. 68
In the Bible, God declares: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, and I am the living One.” In the timeless realm where God dwells, which is also your home, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, are one, and the essence of everything that ever has been and ever will be is eternally present in a unmanifested state of oneness and perfection—totally beyond anything the human mind can ever imagine or comprehend. 82
The fact is that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body or through an out-of-body experience. Although such an experience can be fascinating and can give you a glimpse of the state of liberation from the material form, in the end you will always have to return to the body, where the essential work of transformation takes place. Transformation is through the body, not away from it. This is why no master has ever advocated fighting or leaving the body, although their mind-based followers often have…Jesus…”your whole body will be filled with light.” 95
…I am not teaching you. You are consciousness, and you are listening to yourself. There is an Eastern saying: “The teacher and the taught together create the teaching.”…the words themselves are not important. They are not Truth, they only point to it…the words that I speak to you now are carriers of the high-energy frequency of presence, quite apart from the meaning they convey as words.
Silence is an even more potent carrier of presence, so…be aware of the silence between and underneath the words. Be aware of the gaps….And what is stillness other than presence, consciousness freed from other thought forms? Here is the living realization of what we have been talking about. 85
In a fully functional organism, an emotion has a very short life span. It is like a momentary ripple or wave on the surface of your Being. When you are not in your body, however, an emotion can survive inside you…for years, feed on your energy, lead to physical illness, and make your life miserable. 101