The Unborn Paradox
The old master wrote, “They are unborn, so ever living.” Like a Zen Koan, this sentence challenges our assumptions about birth and life. You have to be born to live, do you not? Paradox only exists when assumptions prevail. This is particularly true when our assumptions support the illusion of duality.
In the passage below, Lao Tsu combines concepts in a way that doesn’t make much sense if you believe in the dual nature of the world. For instance, “The wise stay behind, and are thus ahead”. In a dual world, you cannot get ahead by staying behind. They are opposites.
Again, he writes “They are detached, thus at one with all.”
Finally, “through selfless action, they attain fulfillment.”
Maybe linear thinking is flawed. What if life and death are the same thing? Could it be possible that there is no such thing as “ahead” or “behind”? Perhaps these linear concepts are a fiction.
There is much hate and anger in the world…this group pitted against that group. Look where it has led us. We are surrounded by violence, destruction, and death.
Lao Tsu wrote of being at one with all, but what does that mean? Maybe it means there is no separation between “this” or “that”, between “you” and “me”. As a simple exercise, try to embrace everything around you and see what happens. What could it hurt? It’s only a hug and a hug never hurt anything.
Heaven and earth last forever.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They are unborn, so ever living.
The wise stay behind, and are thus ahead.
They are detached, thus at one with all.
Through selﬂess action, they attain fulﬁllment.
Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.