A Year of the Tao – Day 31

“To keep on filling is not as good as stopping.  Overfilled, the cupped hands drip, better to stop pouring.”

(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)


As I listen to the weather channel’s coverage of Hurricane Tomas’ impact on Haiti, I am sure there are Haitians who would say that it is better to stop pouring.  Moderation in all things that this verse refers to does not seem to be the way of nature in cases such as these. 

However, according to answers.com, a hurricane’s “primary purpose is to transport heat and moisture away from the equator, where there is a great imbalance due to the heating of the earth.”  This says to me that what we refer to as a natural disaster is actually a human disaster caused by a natural event.

Unlike the balance found in nature, this verse is speaking to the human error of continuing to do anything to excess by comparing it to the folly of pouring more liquid into a container (cupped hands) than it can reasonably hold.  It is the simple concept of “enough.”  In Proverbs 30: 8-9 the writer prays:

“Give me enough food to live on,
   neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
   saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
   and dishonor the name of my God.”

What is unnatural is that there is anyone on this planet who does not have enough food and water tonight.  Those who have keep on pouring into containers that are already full while those who have not cup their empty hands in prayer.  The problem?  Greed, which is based in fear.  The solution?  Love.  Perfect love casts out fear. 

Enough said.


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 31

  1. Theresa Cover says:

    How do we stop this great imbalance? Is there anything within our control anymore? My feeling about our planet is often one of helplessness as there doesn’t seem to be enough will among mankind to save ourselves.

  2. Bob Trost says:

    Very nicely put, and worthy of very deep thought, I can’t save the world, but I do what I can, one day at a time

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