Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Tao on Disaster

What with the fires and hurricanes, I came across a reading in 365 Tao Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao that may be helpful:

Mute black night,
Sudden fire.

Disaster strikes in its own time. It is so overwhelming that we can do nothing other than accept it. It alters the course of our days, our work, our very thinking. Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so. We cannot say that a disaster had malice toward us, though it might have been deadly, and it's hard to say that it has "wrecked" our plans: In one stroke it changes the very basis of the day.

Disaster is natural. It is not the curse of the gods, it is not punishment. Disaster results from the interplay of forces: the earthquake from pressures in the earth, the hurricane from wind and rain, even the accidental fire from a spark. We rush to ask "Why?" in the wake of a great disaster, but we should not let superstition interfere with dispassionate acceptance. There is no god visiting down destruction.

Disasters may well change us deeply, but they will pass. We must keep to our deeper convictions and remember our goals. Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

Interesting post. Never thought if disaster that way. Thanks for sharing.