The Lao-tzu – Tao Te Ching
This is chapter 2 of the Tao Te Ching, part of the Tao Of Snatch series: A weightlifters guide to the Lao-tzu.
To name a thing “beautiful”,
Is to name others “ugly”.
To name a thing “good”,
Is to name others “bad”.
Being and non-being produce each other.
Strength and weakness create each other.
Velocity and control define each other.
Rhythm and voice reveal each other.
The Human Being acts without acting, and
Teaches without teaching.
Moments come and she allows them;
Moments go and she lets them leave.
She creates without possession.
She acts with no expectations.
Her mind is free from remembrance,
So that her work can live forever.
To define (to name) is to categorize, polarize. Beware the habit of naming. Categories help us make sense of the world. They also serve to blind us to its reality. Both are important. “High”, “low”, “middle”, only exist in relation to one another. They are not real in-themselves.
What is “strong” without a notion of the word “weak”? What is “success” without its relative “failure”? Nothing.
Attachment to names is blindness.
Have goals, but strive only to complete the next step with absolute focus. And once you have completed each step, forget it completely so that you can move on to the next.
Total, and utter mindfulness at every stage.
Do you want to snatch 100 kilos? Then you need to go to the gym and put your shoes on. You need to tie your shoes. You need to put chalk onto your hands. You need to load the bar.
There are myriad steps, each in its turn.
Take each of them as sacred. Complete them with purpose, intensity – in doing so, you will imbue them with meaning – your life with meaning – a meaning that will live on long after you have forgotten the steps you’ve taken – a meaning that will present itself as your life.
Now go lift something heavy,