In an earlier post I talked about the idea of Flow in psychology. In Chapter Thirty-Four Lao Tsu writes, “The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right.” As we considered flow earlier in the text, we saw it especially as it applied to the psychology of the practitioner. Here we focus on the flow of the Tao itself. This flow informs all of creation, silently supporting the existence of the ten thousand things without taking mastery over that creation and without making a show of this support.
Over the history Western Philosophy, there has been much debate about the type of cause God is in relation to the rest of existence. For some philosophers and theologians, God is not only the original cause of existence, the speaker of that “fiat lux” – the First Cause or Prime Mover. God is also the constant cause for all being, at each moment of existence. This second way of thinking of God is closer to what Lao Tsu means to say about the Tao. All things depend upon the Tao for their existence. It is the flow of the Tao through the ten thousand things that makes them real.