First posted here on Medium dot com.
In conflict, it is love that wins
Love is the strongest protection
If you have love,
It is as if Heaven itself were keeping
- Tao Te Ching 67
The great thinkers, the sacred texts, writers, poets, eventually come to love as a topic of reflection. They seek to decipher it’s meaning, importance, and at often times absence in our lives. These meditations are my own humble thoughts on the subject as I try to stretch my own imagination in order to comprehend what may be incomprehensible. It’s fitting I begin with a quote for the Tao Te Ching, one of my favorite texts on the subject of how to live. This quote struck me as fitting for the current tumultuous season. Many feel it is a time of great disagreement between ideas.
Our world never seems to be without conflicts, mundane and massive. The day to day quips, slights, affronts that happen as we move through our worlds. Then there are the massive ones, wars oceans away, bodily violence, political fights, destruction of our climate. This can all seem overwhelming. Pushing us away from each other. Preferring to stay in a small one-bedroom apartments alone with our fears. It is easier this way, we think, avoiding conflict superficially protected by our aloneness.
The Tao tells us conflict can be met with love. This is not a flowery love of romance novels or even a love of physical passion. While those forms of love are valid, worthy, and t do have elements of this greater love they play in shallow waters. This is the love of compassion. The great deep ocean, where one can not always see the bottom. The love that requires us to see the sameness in the others around us.
If love is to win then it must be an actor in the great battle of living that we all engage. It must also be an action. Love as both actor and action is to know that at once you can hold it in your hand while practicing love at the same time. It is both the bottomless sea and the current flowing with the tides.
The Tao says we will find safety in this. Allowing love to win, we need no bullet proof vests only courage.