Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Importance of What is Not

In my continued reading of the Tao Te Ching, I came across Verse 11, which is entitled "The Importance of What is Not." I'm including the whole text below because of its deep meaning.

We join thirty spokes
to the hub of a wheel,
yet it's the center hole
that drives the chariot.

We shape clay
to birth a vessel,
yet it's the hollow within
that makes it useful.

We chisel doors and windows
to construct a room,
yet it's the inner space
that makes it livable.

Thus do we
create what is
to use what is not.


This leaves me with an important question -- is it only when our inner space is hollowed out of "stuff" that we are ready for others? If the the Tao Te Ching is correct, then have I created something which is but will use what is not?

Does this translate to mean that it's not what I am creating which is important but what was already there that is more important? And, is it only in the construction of something that you realize what was there all along? For example, the inner space of a room was always there but it wasn't defined as an inner space until doors and windows were constructed around it.

So, what does that mean about love, then? If the love is constant, can outside constructions really change it? If one was to remove the construction, wouldn't the love remain? What does that imply about our deep and meaningful human relationships with those we love? Are our constructions getting in the way of what is? Is it upon this realization that we must utilize what is not?


nectarofthegods said...

Namaste Kel!,

In emptiness, we find everything (all that which truly matters, anyhow)...eternal bliss and joy. That is what the great spiritual leaders of our time have had to say, anyhow, or so I have read and heard.

It is so nice to be here at your blog, Kel. It is a cozy litl' place, full of love and light, contemplation and reflection. Enlightening, indeedee!


nectarofthegods said...

The "Tao Te Ching" is amazing! I'm reading it, too. One of the best pieces of literature I have ever laid my eyes upon!

Kelly McGannon said...

Hi Tash, yes, you are right. I think in emptiness we find everything but what's more is becoming comfortable with the is there, methinks, that we actually find fullness.

About the blog, I love your comments and will treasure them. It's always nice to hear. Thank you! Love and hugs, Kel

Jennifer said...

Hi Kelly,
I think that the same theory also holds true with words. It is often the things that are not said that are the most meaningful.
Hugs, Jen

Kelly McGannon said...

Hi Jen, yes, I think you're right. I've always been a word person, but I'm learning now how to see past them and still feel the feelings that words cannot express. Love and hugs, Kel