The way and one-ness of things


Henry Moore’s Alter at St Stephen’s Walbrook where Chad Varah founded The Samaritans in 1953 in the crypt of … Wren’s prettiest church?

That peacefully delightful moment of realization, when understanding collides with reality and rather than bounce away on impact, they embrace within the other’s outstretched arms and begin to waltz.

The other day, a small and much valued volume broke asunder: it was exhausted from all the opening it’s had and sighed in expiry of oneness.

You won’t be at all surprised that the wee 1978 print of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching separated itself at the 64th chapter of Book One which says

64  When the uncarved block shatters it becomes                 vessels. The sage makes use of these and                         becomes the lord over the officials.                            65  Hence the greatest cutting     Does not sever.

I like that, the greatest cutting does not sever.

It suggests the inseparable nature of Being: that no matter what life throws at us, if we so choose, we can endure and vanquish it.

The longer this indiscriminate blight throttles global well-being, the deeper the need to draw on inner resources of tolerance and kindness to soothe emotions’ panic.

[A version of Lao Tzu’s biography claims his (personal) first name as Ear or Long Ear. Our focus on Listening impells us to find this profoundly comforting. Tra la la.]

Image  Interior of St Stephen’s, site of an earlier church consecrated in 1432

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