The quote from the Tao Te Ching on Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life perpetual calendar earlier this week:
The muddiest water clears as it is stilled. And out of that stillness, life arises.
From my reading of Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations With God books, I learned that Life, is another name for Love, which is another name for God.
So if you read the above quote again with that knowledge, it makes a lot more sense, don’t you think?
“The muddiest water clears as it is stilled. And out of that stillness, Life, Love, and God arise.”
I think there are a couple lessons we can take from this quote.
My first thought was that as each of us meditates, all of those confusing thoughts going around in our heads become stilled, and out of that stillness we not only find clarity, we find life, love and God within.
A great recommendation for meditation if ever I heard one.
However, I realised that there was more to this quote. It was not only talking about the muddy waters that we find in ourselves, but also the muddy waters within others.
We may look at someone who we think is rotten to the core – full of muddy water – but even they, too, have the capacity to become as clear as you or me.
My water doesn’t become as muddy these days since I have been meditating twice a day, but there was a time when people would look at me and think that I was worthless, and good for nothing.
I remember one time when I was about 15 and my sister was about 16, we accompanied our parents to our aunt and uncle’s place in a country town for our Christmas holidays. We went with their family to a Baptist Church outdoor supper. Mum and Dad told us later what had transpired:
One of the Baptist ladies had walked up to Dad and pointed to my sister and I, who were over the other side of the gathering talking amongst ourselves. The lady said to Dad: “Look at those two hussies over there, smoking.” Dad turned to the lady and said: “Yes, I know; they’re my daughters.”
I felt a little guilty at the time, for embarrassing my father, but I felt great admiration for him for not having disowned us, as I probably would have done in similar circumstances.
I don’t think I ever really was a hussy, but I have changed a lot since those days. I gave up smoking when I was 30, for one thing.
I am still no saint. I still swear like a trooper, and my husband could give you a long list of my faults, I’m sure. In fact, that Baptist lady, if she were still alive, would probably still think of me as a hussy, because my husband and I never got married. We have been living in sin for 42 years. (Actually there is very little sinning going on these days, but that’s another story.) (Personally, I am quite proud of the fact that we have allowed our relationship to adapt to changing circumstances for such a long time, while many blessed marriages have disintegrated.)
My point is that, just because someone is the worst of sinners now, it doesn’t mean they will be tomorrow, if they have a chance for the muddy waters to be stilled.
I believe that everyone is doing the best they can in the circumstances in which they find themselves and with the resources which they believe they have.
Many people struggle in the mud for years, never finding a way out, until one day someone comes along and says something to them, or does something for them which gives them a different perspective on life. Perhaps that small thing may be sufficient for them to allow their muddy water to still.
Many people don’t understand that they have a lot more resources at their disposal than they thought. Meditation helps us to find some of those resources. It helps us to get in touch with our heart, where our true heart’s desires can be found. As we follow our true heart’s desires, we find that clarity is restored to our lives, even if it is only one step at a time.
As we follow our true heart’s desires, we find that we have a Life, not just an existence. Life with a capital L is a life with purpose, a life which connects us to all of creation and to our creator.
As we connect with Life, Love and God, we start to also find more and more resources turning up in our lives. Even we sinners have lots of help.
We have angels and spirit guides and the Universe all working to help us achieve our desires. As we start to see this help showing up more and more in our lives, in lots of positive ways, we start to realise that we no longer need to rely on those old methods and beliefs which kept us looking and feeling rotten to the core. Our mud settles more and more.
I know it is difficult not to be judgemental. In our world of duality, we like to put everything into black and white categories. We like to classify actions as good or bad. However, even though we may classify someone’s actions as bad, we can try not to attach the same label to the person carrying out that action.
As a vegan, I try not to cause harm to any sentient being. Sometimes it is easy for me forget that I once ate meat and animal products and thus contributed to animal suffering. It is easy for me to judge others harshly for continuing to do what I once did.
But I can hope that very soon, every person on the planet will one day begin to understand that what we do to another we do to ourselves.
I understand this now. I understand because I feel the pain, not physically, but emotionally, whenever I learn of another being’s suffering. The suffering which was once blocked out, as I ate my steak and eggs, is now felt deep in my heart as others do what I had done.
You might have the same sort of reaction when you hear of a child suffering.
But what if we have done those actions ourselves, you and I? Not in this lifetime, perhaps, but in a previous one.
What if every action done by another, which causes us emotional pain, does so only because we are reaping what we sowed at another time?
What if, every time our heart bleeds for a victim, it is only because we, too, have inflicted such pain on someone and this pain is the consequences of such actions?
If you believe in karma, then this is a possibility. Of course, none of this may be true, but perhaps the smallest thought of that possibility is sufficient for us to stop for a moment before judging others as bad, and maybe try instead to think of a way to help them out of the mud.
I would love to hear your thoughts on all this.