Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Duality of Quilting and some background

Stick with me, this is ultimately about quilting.  But see the beauty in the words.  You can equate it to Christian religions if you wish, or you can just feel the peace in the words.

Lao-Tse, born in 604 BC.  Tao is a peaceful quiet belief that may be likened to a religion but it is not truly a religion.  It is more a state of mind.  I have studied it off and on since childhood. 

Lao-Tse is considered the first philosopher of the Taoist school. The Te-Tao Ching, attributed to Lao-Tse, is one of the most sacred texts of Taoism. His writings teach the philosophy of the Tao, or the Way, which is reality that naturally exists prior to and gives rise to all other things such as the physical universe and all things in it. Te, which means virtue, is the life energy in things and a sense of morality which constitutes the Way. The Tao can be found by experiencing the oneness in all things - fulfilling life as one with nature and as one with the inner self. The speaking of Lao-Tse's wisdom is what attracts people to follow him and make him the teacher of Taoism.

The 2nd verse of the Tao Te Ching talks of the duality of the world.  It states:  Under the heavens all can see beauty as beauty because there is ugliness .  We can know good because there is evil.

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tse writes that there are paradoxes in the universe. Short and tall, ugly and pretty, high and low. And that one must live openly with both in order to be able to see both.

"Being and non-being produce each other. The difficult is born in the easy. Long is defined by short, the high by the low. Before and after go along with each other.

So the sage lives openly with apparent duality and paradoxical unity. The sage can act without effort and teach without words. Nurturing things without possessing them, he works, not for the rewards; he competes but not for results."

If we follow this thought through to quilting, we can see that our quilting room is both "stocked and full" and "cluttered and never the right material". If we contemplate that duality of our own small universe, we see that we can be happy either way we look at it. Either we can feel happy to pull a piece of fabric from our shelves and use it in the quilt, or we can be comfortable heading out to the quilt shop to purchase a new piece of fabric for the quilt.

We can be either happy or unhappy with our stash. If we look at our stash with new eyes of wonderment and excitement we can see many happy possibilities in what we have. Consciously choose how you look at your stash, see the wonderment in colors, textures and potential.

If we choose the duality of that thought, we may just need to clean up our room and organize our stash, then head out to the fabric shop!


1 comment:

  1. Great post. I am in need of reminders of accepting and embracing the duality of things these days. Thank you for helping me see my stash in a new way.


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