The section of the Tao Te Ching, essay #80, that I attracted today is one of the most personal and accessible. Lao Tzu writes about what the perfect society would look like. I’m not sure how to relate his words to the Law of Attraction, but am hoping the connection flows from my fingers as I put words on the page.
Lao Tzu writes about the value of living in a “small organization with few people.” One might imagine that he would be appalled by New York City, where I’m now visiting my daughter. But I think in fact the opposite is true. I think perhaps Lao Tzu is talking less about numbers, and more about a sense of connection.
How New York is a Taoist City
Though it houses over 8 million people, New York is a city of neighborhoods. People tend to recognize each other, whether it’s the owner of the corner store who greets you as he sweeps the sidewalk in front of his shop or the barista who remembers you drink cafe latte light. In a sense, New York is a utopia Lao Tzu would recognize.
We each have the opportunity to create this aspect of utopia, of living in a small organization with few people, in all aspects of our lives. Mostly, we do it instinctively. We invite a few friends for dinner. Our families are a ‘small organization.’ At work, we find two or three or five people we relate to best.
We can also consciously increase this sense of connection. Here, the Law of Attraction comes into play. We can smile on the sidewalk, creating connection with our neighbors. We can bring a plant into the office, connecting people and nature and ourselves. Each gesture will add to the collective vibration, and our neighborhoods and cities will attract more and more friendliness and peace.
What Are the Elements We Need to Live Contentedly?
We Need Tools
“Let there be ten or a hundred times more tools than they can use.” We need tools, the practical elements of life. The cook needs food, the carpenter needs wood and a hammer, this writer needs her computer! In our perfect world, people have the tools they need. As a definition of abundance, we could do a lot worse.
Next time we wish for abundance, let’s wish for the tools to achieve our goals, rather than to have the results handed to us!
We Need Purpose
“Let the people value their lives.” We need to feel as though our lives matter. This is a huge benefit of living in a small circle. The contribution of each member is essential to the welfare of the whole, a sometimes unacknowledged benefit of living in a village.
How can we attract this benefit, this abundance, into our modern lives? Lao Tzu’s first words, advising us to look within our circle for happiness, apply here. If you are raising a family, think about the contribution of each member. When was the last time you thanked your children for something they’ve done to help out? Let your partner know you appreciate their support!
Can you help a neighbor with her yard? A friend and I planted 20 trees along our street (with permission), and it pulled the neighborhood together amazingly. Everyone started talking, people came out to help us plant and water, people started mowing their lawns and planting flowers. We just wanted more shade, and what we got was a healthier, happier neighborhood.
In the midst of all this connecting and appreciating, don’t forget to give yourself credit. You contribute more and in different ways than you can imagine. You may already be making a thank you list each night of things you are grateful for. Start another list of ways you have connected or fostered connections. What you focus on grows. Nurture your own sense of connection and purpose and it will flourish.
A Modern Utopia
There are several more verses and topics in essay #80, but I’ll leave them for another day. For now, I’ll let Lao Tzu’s words be the recap. When we wish for the tools to achieve our dreams, and when we live in connection with each other and with nature, we truly live in a modern Utopia.
Our “food will be pleasing.”
Our “clothes will be fine.”
Our “homes will be secure.”
Our “customs will be joyful.”