Tao Te Ching Summary: Lessons From Lao Tzu – Lesson 1

Lesson 1: The Lesson of God
Lesson 2: The Lesson of Silence
Lesson 3: The Lesson of Simplicity
Lesson 4: The Lesson of Acceptance
Lesson 5: The Lesson of Detachment
Lesson 6: The Lesson of Giving

Lesson 1: The Lesson of God

“The named was born from the unnamed . . .
all being flows from non-being . . .
the describable world emanates from an indescribable source.”

Lao Tzu (c.604 – 531 B.C.)

One of the great revelations of our time is the scientific proof of ancient metaphysical ideas. Quantum physics is now revealing on a scientific level what ancient teachers “knew” but where not able to prove.

One of these revelations that came to light through quantum mechanical investigations is the fact that particles (that which we can see) are not responsible for their own existence. That which we see does not come from the physical world.

There exists an invisible force that is responsible for the existence of everything in the world. This force is responsible for a seed growing into a tree and is the same force that brings about everything in the physical world.

It is the same force that causes the planets to align, for the sun to shine, for the seasons etc…

Probably the biggest mystery that humankind has been preoccupied with since the beginning of time is the mystery of our origin and the very nature and source of life.

There seems to be something very peculiar, yet astonishing about the phenomenon we call life and humankind’s consciousness.

When you use all the most sophisticated scientific means of investigation you can peel back all the layers of the physical, the molecules, the atoms, the quarks etc and ultimately we cannot find that invisible source, the intelligence, that makes it all work together to create life.

This is what Lao Tzu reveals to us when he said “being” flows from “non-being”. There is some invisible Force that is responsible for life and it emanates from a Source that we cannot describe.

That which we can quantify and describe comes from something “different” than itself and this is the “unnamed” Source that we can’t seem to quantify and describe because everything that we can perceive comes from our spiritual Source and it is the presence of Spirit (that invisible source) that goes from matter (or physical form) to life.

This idea is reflected by St Paul in the New Testament when he said “That which is seen does not come from that which appears”, meaning that everything in the physical world emanates from the world of spirit, from that invisible force, which we call God.

Through spirituality we consciously work with the Force that we are all unconsciously bound to, though the very nature of life. When this force leaves any living thing, it dies.

Everything that exists in this world, everything physical comes from the non-physical that is from the spiritual. Spirituality brings us in contact with this invisible force (with God).

With this Invisible force we can co-create our lives. This invisible force is not outside of us, but is indeed something within and something that we are very closely connected to.

So often people try and find God in some ritual or in some place, but the transforming truth is that you just have to look deep within yourself. Lao Tzu elaborates on this idea:

“If you go searching for the Great Creator, you will come back empty-handed. The source of the universe is ultimately unknowable, a great invisible river flowing forever through a vast and fertile valley. Silent and uncreated, it creates all things.”

Lao Tzu (c.604 – 531 B.C.)

For many reasons the majority of people believe God to be some “guy” with a long flowing gray beard, a great masculine body and a white robe and that he lives up in the sky in a “palace-like” place from where he controls and dictates our lives.

Because of this belief system most people fail to recognize their own spirituality and fail to recognize their own Divinity. EVERYTHING flows from The Tao for everything that “is” emanates from this great Source.

God is to be found everywhere; God is both the great Unseen and the Great Seen. God is in both the sensory kaleidoscope of life, but also in all the unseen joys of life, love, joy, compassion, appreciation etc.

A great step in becoming more enlightened is to see that ALL of life holds the same divinity. When Mother Theresa was asked about her (seemingly) uphill battle with the starving masses of India, she simply replied by saying that she sees the unfolding of God in each and every one of them.

There are simply too many dimensions to God to be able to describe “It” (remember God is not a Him!) hence Lao Tzu’s observation that we can’t describe or name God.

Any such thing will immediately place a limitation on something that is without limit. Start to see beyond your 5/6 senses and start to see yourself as a multi sensory being, connected to God and the spiritual dimension.

These deeper dimensions of life are not so much about physical experiences, as they are deep spiritual realizations that will expand your consciousness.

It is by expanding our own consciousness that we get to live a multi dimensional life; a life that’s not tied down by the mirage of experiences we associate with perceiving through our senses.

To find God you need not look outside yourself for anything or anyone. God is not in some Cathedral or on some mountaintop.

God is to be found deep inside yourself and you need not move an inch. Within your consciousness you have the capacity to “find” God and a part of your consciousness is in fact God.

When you concern yourself with the connection to God as opposed to looking for God you will start to know God on a personal and intimate level.

God, this invisible force is forever unfolding in the never-ending process of creation. silently it orchestrates everything that comes to being, but not in the way we’ve been led to believe.

God does not sit “up there” to dictate our lives, but instead God created a perfect system by which we create our own lives. Life is a “fertile valley” where we plant and create anything we want and God stands ready to assist us in anything.

Everything that “is” comes from that “indescribably source”. Things don’t create more things; everything needs Spirit for its existence.

Nature is a pure manifestation of the God force and is organized without emotions or limitations.

Practice bonding with the perfection of the Universe and be happy in the knowledge that everything you need is made available to you.

The Tao (the Source) is not just the source of everything that is, was or will be, but it is also your Source and you are connected to it, by virtue of life itself.

Application And Using This Lessons In Your Everyday Life:

  • Everything that you want in your life comes from this invisible source. The solutions to the problems in your life do not lie in the physical world. It ALL starts with a divine idea, with a thought, it all emanates from the invisible.
  • Whatever you want, you first have to start by realizing that you have to find it within yourself and it is your own consciousness from where it all flows. Yes, there are certain things you have to do in the physical world, actions to take etc, but ultimately is all starts with a thought, an idea, an invisible spark that is the source of it all.
  • To find God you simply have to look deep within yourself. You don’t have to go and find God somewhere outside of yourself.
  • If you need a ritual or an organization to help you find God within yourself then DO IT, but always remember that it is within you and that it is part of your capacity as a human being. Ultimately you are a divine part of God.
  • The age-old analogy has been one of God as the Father and we as His children. This falls short in this day and age and fails to fully capture our own divinity. Try and think of this connection between you and God in this way:

    If you take a candle and you light thousands of candles from that first one, you have a thousand flames, all shining with the same light. God is not so much the first candle as She is the flame itself. Think of yourself as a flame and let your light shine with the brilliance it was created for.
  • Lao Tzu says that you need to enjoy the mystery of the Tao – God, by allowing everyone and everything to be as it is.

    There is no need to work out why but to just allow it to be, by listening, observing and judging less, instead of needing to label and name everything. (More on this in The Lesson Of Acceptance).
  • Realize that the same invisible energy, which beats in your heart, is the same that beats in the heart of everyone else. There is only one life for it all emanates from the same Source.

    The force that moves a thought across your mind is the same force that moves a star across the sky.

    See everything as a grand design and you will start to tame your ego, which insists on your individuality. In this way you will you will start to see oneness where you previously saw separateness.
  • Trust your inner nature knowing that you are more than your body, your mind and your emotions. Use this to hold you steadfast when you are tempted to be intimated by other people’s opinions of you.
  • When you expand beyond your five senses you can watch the world and live from the inner conviction that your true essence is not of this world.
  • Always remember that although you are in this world, you are not of this world. Living life from the spiritual will help you to always stay connected and consequently everything else will be in greater harmony.

    When you are in line with your Higher Self you can avoid all those inner conflicts that keeps so many people preoccupied.
  • Likewise, question everything that you see, asking what its true essence is. Be in awe of nature, of the invisibleness of a cloud, what brings a tree to life in the springtime and acknowledge that it is the same principle, which causes your lungs to expand, and your heart to beat.

    As you start to see God in everything and everyone, you stop identifying with this ego-based world and will identify with and find God.

    When you tap into the invisible, untouchable and immeasurable source in this way, you will regain the powers of your eternal source and start living beyond the world of form.
  • Nature is a pure manifestation of the God force and is organized without emotions or limitations. Practice bonding with the perfection of the Universe and be happy in the knowledge that everything you need is made available to you.

    The Transcendentalists (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were some of the key figures) firmly believed that nature was our Source and that when we return to nature we can return to our Source.

    Nature is healing. Its stillness is piercing and you cannot help but to awaken your spirit when you are in the presence of nature and all it’s glory. This is something that we all can do and something that we don’t nearly do enough of.

    When is the last time you saw a sunrise or a sunset? It happens everyday and it’s available to all of us!

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With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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