Tao 57/Day 241 “Therefore the Master says: I let go of the law, and people become honest.”

Albert Einstein said it was more important than knowledge.  Walt Disney made a fortune from it.  General Electric is depending on it to produce products to save the planet.  And John Lennon’s legacy grows with each passing year due in no small part to a song he wrote about it.  – I’m referring to what we language in English as ‘imagination’.  This is the word that preoccupies my mind as I return to the magic path after a hectic week’s absence.  I allow myself to imagine that the long layoff will put a little extra spring in my step, but that soon proves to be a FIGMENT, as graceful strides quickly give way to a shorter, choppier, more joint-protecting gait.  Instead of lamenting this loss of my preconceived notion (derived from my ‘language-driven’ imagination), I choose to drop my language notions entirely and wait for whatever the present moment and my body bring to awareness.  It doesn’t take long for an interesting insight into the subject-at-hand to arise.

What is the greatest thing I’ve ever imagined that actually came to pass?  Was it really the result of language-ing a goal into existence (ala “In the beginning was the Word” — which is in fact the basis of a great deal of all self-development advice), or did it manifest from a level deeper than language can go, and then get draped in words after the fact in order to justify or ‘explain’ it?  For example, I’ve imagined, during the course of my life, scenarios as diverse as running in the Olympics, accepting an Academy Award for Best Actor, and living on a tropical island while electronically sending my work to the mainland.  And, no doubt, these longings, while still yet to be fully realized, have contributed to a life-long love of sport, a career making my living as an actor, and my current attempts to reach a digital audience from this beautiful-but-non-tropical paradise called Vancouver Island.  However, the ‘greatest’ things that have come to pass have actually required far less of that type of imagining than I could have ever suspected on the front end of life.  I was BORN to be a dad.  I was born to connect spiritually to fellow lovers of life.  I was born to express and communicate my gifts in a public fashion.  The fact that it took the better part of a half-century to manifest these deeper longings clearly may say as much about the degree to which these innate imaginings were held hostage to my ego’s attempts to adhere to the language and lifestyle of some arbitrary ‘acceptable standard’ as anything to do with ‘believing it and then achieving it’.

What I am realizing as I splash through the now-four-month-muck on this magic path once more is that part of the reason my-and-our-collective imagination has so much trouble getting beyond the same-ol’-same-ol’ and diving into the truly miraculous is that our attachment to the language we’ve been saturated with since our physical births is suppressing rather than manifesting our destinies.  We can’t think like free men and women when we’re still bombarded with the language of kings and subjects and masters and slaves that fills the pages of our sacred texts.  Self-governance remains a radical notion in such a cultural climate, even 233 years after the Declaration of Independence.

Take, in contrast to our millenniums-deep conditioning, the lines from the Tao te Ching that follow those that begin this entry:  “I let go of economics, and people become prosperous.  I let go of religion, and people become serene.  I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes common as grass.”  – I can’t IMAGINE such things, let alone live them, as long as I’m living from the level of language and not from Source.  Only when I’m silent, centered, connected do I begin to even get an inkling of the truth of Lao Tzu’s words here.  Only when I’m fully present do I realize that “The law” is already written on our hearts, that prosperity’s foundations precede so-called ‘efficient markets’, and that serenity is the calm and quiet inhale and exhale prior to whatever sermon is spoken or hymn is sung.  The only way I can imagine truly ‘great’ things is to first lose my attachment to all the language that clutters my consciousness and keeps a more authentic ability to truly IMAGINE from coming to the fore.

Lest I confuse this as a call for more words (just different ones) in the service of imagination, a final lesson from today’s trek now hits home.  – Despite focused efforts to tread lightly, my right knee starts that weird pain thing again out of nowhere.  I tell myself to speed up, I tell myself to slow down, I tell myself to turn around and go back, I tell myself to stop, I tell myself I don’t have time to stop because Maureen has a meeting and I’ve got to get back to look after the kids —– and then, without thinking about it, my body starts that loping/skipping thing.  Instant relief…I play with it, settle on a broken-down ‘gallop’ somewhere between playing horsey as a kid and that ‘Grandpappy Amos’ character from the old show “The Real McCoys”, and finish feeling I could probably go again.

My BODY imagined a simple, close-at-hand solution to a nagging problem that no amount of ego-imagination could have ‘fixed’…As I ‘canter’ up the path to the parking lot and my car, I hear some wise teachers in my ear, reminding me again that ‘Imagination’, like ‘Truth’ or any other ‘Big Idea’, can only be accessed via the present moment, using what is close at hand.  I take a loving breath in, allow all my stale thoughts and emotions to accompany the accompanying exhalation, and, on that sacred wind…my imagination SOARS.


2 Responses to “Tao 57/Day 241 “Therefore the Master says: I let go of the law, and people become honest.””

  1. david arnold Says:

    I have had many of the workouts that make you feel like Amos. Like you I would much rather have a bad work out than none at all. So many people would love to feel or experience the pain or difficulties in exercise but physically are not capable. It seems that moving through the repetitive drills of the mundane can create the greater potential.
    I always enjoy your blog.

    • gregwebb Says:

      Thanks for the comment David. Amazing what the journey starts to look like when we just keep taking that next step and then the next one. Even the ‘mudane repetition’ of that next step starts to feel sacred.

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