A Year of the Tao – Day Four


Sunrise at Southern Shores


“Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness.  All can know good as good only because there is evil.”  (From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being)   

When I first read today’s verse I thought, oh I know this one.  This is easy.  I can see that this is a beautiful day – the birds are chirping, there is a cloudless azure sky above me, the air is crisp and cool – only because I’ve also awakened to hot, humid, gray days in which the birds are too pooped to pipe.   

Ok, so what’s the dilemma?  Write about it and get on with enjoying this beautiful day, Karen. But there’s a question mark in my mind about this…how could I not know that this is a gorgeous day even if I didn’t have any point of reference?  And what of good and evil?  Don’t I know down in the deepest recesses of my being that love is good and hate is evil?  And Who is making these judgments anyway? 

In a recent online interview, Dr. Dyer spoke of the fact that if, for example, I asked you to wiggle your toes and you did so, scientists can find the exact spot in your brain that told your toes to wiggle.  However, those same scientists have yet to discover where in the brain resides the part of you that decided to humor me and to “tell” your toes to wiggle.  Could that be the part of me that makes these distinctions?  

Perhaps a rose, by any other name, would NOT smell as sweet to one who has had a painful experience with the rose-laden coffin of a loved one.  Perhaps a sunrise isn’t an excruciatingly gorgeous expression of the promise of a new day to the ones who, unlike me, had to drag themselves out of a nice, warm, cozy bed to schlep off to an unsatisfying job again this morning… 

Beauty, ugliness, good, and evil all exist under heaven.  I suppose how they are perceived by you or me is all a matter of perspective.


About Karen Nicholson

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton Writing about these moments of awe has been a driving force of my life for, well, as long as I can remember. Coupled with a devotion to sunrises and sunsets that defies explanation, a combination of the two seemed like the right thing to do. I welcome you to my world. May it be a blessing to yours.
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9 Responses to A Year of the Tao – Day Four

  1. Jan says:

    Karen, I really like this one! So true. I love how your write.

    Too pooped to pipe, indeed!


  2. Jan says:

    Karen, I love this one…well done! And so true. “Too pooped to pipe,” indeed…nice touch!


  3. Bob Trost says:

    I rise each morning with the concept of flexibility foremost in my mind. Flexibility to meet the goodness or challenges of the day and derive the best out of whatever I’m faced with. Helps to be a wee bit pessimistic as any goodness is hugely magnified!

  4. Harry Avila says:

    Karen, this is the first time I have visited your Dawening site. I really like it! I’ll be back regularly as I enjoy your viewpoint and photos. I see my friends Jan and Bob have already visited today. Jan makes doubly sure we know her views and Bob is still the lovable pessimist who deep down is a closet optimist!!

    • kan5678 says:

      Thanks Harry! I enjoy your viewpoint too and with Jan and Bob around heaven knows I’ll need a moderating influence! Jan is twice the fun and Bob was uncloseted ages ago…

  5. Debbie says:

    Here is my experience and awakening to the Tao!
    I attended a Christian based church for many years with my children. It was my goal to give them a spiritual background. A foundation for their life.

    Then, my life changed at a very definitive time, September 2005. I was in Japan. I was taking my 5th degree black belt test in front of 60 or so other practitioners of budo. The test is given by the grandmaster, the student attempting to pass the test is on their knees with the grandmaster standing behind while he attempts to strike the person with his sword. It is the students responsibility to feel the intention and get out of the way of the sword. I had to be recommended for this test by my Sensei here in the US. I bowed, turned, got on my knees and waited, clunk, not feeling it. One more try, suddenly I hear people clapping and I am across the room. Complete out of body experience! It was at this moment I shifted dimensions and my life changed. It was this moment when I experienced the Tao and all the gifts there are for us all.

    Short story, I came home, divorced my husband, sold our house and am on another journey. I went to church one more time when I returned from Japan and just couldn’t feel it anymore. It has not been easy but I am being true to myself and working toward making life better for myself and those around me. Still looking for a partner to share my life with. He’s out there somewhere! 🙂

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