A few folk have been asking how things look in the current atmosphere from a Daoist persective. I am no expert on chinese cosmology and philosophy. But I can say that this state is completely natural, and as crazy as it may seem, all is as it should be. The Cosmic Dao follows the laws of nature, of which war and famine and plague are a part. Nature seeks to right itself and to bring balance. The Cosmic Dao incessantly gives rise to the ten thousand things (a metaphor for the world) and as these are being reborn constantly the linear view of the universe in gathering and building systems is voided. “The Cosmic Dao is chang, constant and eternal, and tiandao, the order of nature that manifests itself spontaneously. Human beings, whose society and culture are marked by artifice and constraint, can hope only to attune themselves to its mysterious transformations but receive no special favour.1” And so it is at the moment.
In China it is said that within chaos there are two energies; fear, and opportunity. Most people are currently feeling the former in abundance. Lets deal with that first.
While we all know that excess fear is unhelpful and even dangerous to the body and mind, it is also a totally natural response to conditions of this kind. Most of us are currently feeling some element of anxiety as a result of sudden and unexpected changes to our work and home life, and to that of our families. This may peak into moments of panic and emotional disorder each day when we are met with a completely new and strange situation, and this is of course also natural. As fear is part of the energy of chaos and is likely to be around for a while, it is important to begin making sure that there is a coping mechanism in place. Aiming to make sure that your level of fear does not spiral out of control or begin to starve your energy of a foundation in groundedness and presence of mind is pretty vital. The alternative of course is that fear becomes the foundation.
For this to be effective, coping mechanisms are best not to be based on anyone or anything outside of yourself, as everything is currently in flux in those realms. You have everything you need to access the calm within the storm. You are the center point in your universe, and that center point is connected to the Universal Dao. Sit within the chaos. Shut your eyes and ears to the outer world and listen to the stillness and movement inside. Any physical or spiritual practice you have, do it daily and endeavour to reduce exposure to outside systems, especially the digital realms and continuous updating of world news, for which our brains and processing are not evolved. These things are something to dip or check into for short periods only when you feel grounded and able. Doing so will allow the nervous system to drop out of panic mode and your resources to be returned to the rest of the body.
And so we come to opportunity. Underneath and inside of the massive breakdown of systems great and small, there is a light shining. If you listen closely, you can almost hear it, like something is singing that before was unable even to speak. What it is? I do not know. The dao is ‘bu ren’, ‘no lover of humanity’. But this singing light has in it the potential for positive change and is rooted in the natural order, of which we are part. In the days and weeks and months to come we will be able to lead our actions towards this song in the universe, towards where the light calls, at least on a personal level. There are many things going on around this that, quite rightly, may completely drown this out. But for the moment, if you are able, to hear it through the fear is the most important thing of all.