A Year of the Tao – Day Fourteen

“Heaven and earth are impartial; they see the 10,000 things as straw dogs.  The sage is not sentimental; he treats all his people as straw dogs.”  From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)

I need to grow up.  I haven’t written about this quote because, quite frankly, I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.  Am I committed to this discipline or not?  Or should I just be committed?  (Really?  Committed has two t’s?  Ugh, and I call myself an English teacher!)

Ok, let’s start with a few definitions.   The 10,000 things, according to ancient Chinese thought, are all that I can experience through sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell – the physical universe in which I live and move and have my being.

Straw Dogs (from which the film of the same name adopted its title – have never viewed it, should I?) are ceremonial dogs created out of straw and decorated and revered during ancient Chinese rituals at the conclusion of which the straw dogs were then unceremoniously discarded as rubbish.

So.  Heaven and earth—the Creator and the creation—see the physical universe as something to be revered and cherished but ultimately deemed no longer useful.  Therefore, the wise person also treats relationships as expendable.

Nope.  Don’t like this one little bit.  No thank you.  

But.  But if the straw dog refers to the part of me that is mortal—my human form—then I suppose it makes sense.  Just not feeling all warm and fuzzy about this Truth no matter how Truthy it is.

“…there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11


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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2 Responses to A Year of the Tao – Day Fourteen

  1. Bob Trost says:

    I have to agree with you on this. It makes me think that I’m being forwarned that, “I can’t take it with me”. Yeah, I got that, but if I don’t use all my senses in coordination with my heart and brain, then I lose the rudder AND moral compass that guides me toward whatever destination awaits along the journey’s path.

  2. Debbie says:

    I totally agree, our physical form is expendable, but relationships? No, for me, relationships are not expendable. I love and cherish all the relationships I have, have had and will have. Unfortunately, not all of those I’ve met along the way have felt the same about me. Their loss. Downsizing as I am at this time with the loss of my home, I am being forced to look at the important things which are not things at all. It is the lives we touch.

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