Eleven days ago I was reading about some of the essential concepts of Tao. Tao is the philosophy of order and wisdom of individual life, that universal energy makes and maintains everything that exists, and is the ultimate reality in which all things happen. In looking inward, Tao allows you to connect with your personal rhythms and pace as a means to bring satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment to your existence.
Now, I am not a Taoist nor am I an expert on the philosophy of Tao, I just enjoy reading about the subject and I find it hard to argue with its teachings. What particularly caught me eye when I was reading was the concept of Te (“deh”); personal power. Te is the idea of turning failure into strength, maintaining in the moment and not focusing on the outcome, exhibiting integrity when it means you will be different, and most importantly gaining power by not seeking it because it will only create fatigue. I read the same two pages on Te a dozen times for no other reason than I really enjoyed the words I read, only to see its principle in action two days later.
Nine days ago I witnessed the birth of my first child, a healthy baby girl, only to be woken in the middle of the night reflecting on the words I repeatedly read two nights earlier. A baby is the purest form of the most powerful species on the planet; untainted with what they will soon see in the world and the closest form of perfection that exists on earth.
Starting as a zygote, then a blastocyst, embryo, and then a fetus, a baby has all of its functioning organs by the time it is twelve weeks old. The brain is continually forming, fingers and toes are complete with nails, the heart is functioning, and its gender is apparent; all without trying to gain the form it has already achieved. By the time the baby is born, it has achieved its miraculous status without ever forcing the process to happen, it just let it happen.
This was my learning moment, laying in a cot half my size, realizing that for this miracle to happen it took no external effort from the baby, it just took the idea that ultimate reality, birth, takes nothing more that allowing the process to unfold. By putting herself in the right situation, trusting those who would nourish and support her growth, and allowing the spiritual aspect of life take control, she was able to enter this world successfully.
Our success and personal power is not a mystery; we all have already achieved it once. If we are to regain that power we need to look no further than what we learned before we took our first breath and understand that our personal rhythms, ultimate reality, and power will come when stop trying to force what is not there. As we tire ourselves through the pursuit of something we think we should be, we lose the energy necessary to remain still and find our power within our calm.
Our ability to achieve Te is not in our ability to out work those around us, it is in our ability to work smarter than those around us. Te will not come from allowing external circumstances to dictate our reality; rather it will come when we accept our reality and internally decide to mold it. Our Te will not appear through material items and perception; it will come when we allow ourselves to reconnect with our most pure state when we were as close to perfection as we will ever be.