Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.
I am sure you have experienced this feeling that good order is somehow tied to stillness and tranquility. In our everyday lives, the bustle of activity, the noise of constant action and inter
action, the scampering of busybodies, and the shrill voices of unrealized goals dominate our attention. When we finally reach a moment of stillness, we necessarily think that some order has been achieved in the world around us.
But this experience of stillness is quite different from what Lao Tsu is pointing to here in Chapter Forty-Five. It is not that stillness comes from order in the universe, but that stillness and tranquility set things in order. A very different proposition indeed. This concept is at the heart of meditative practice. By achieving stillness, we in some way make things right in the world. Or perhaps, stilling ourselves, we sync up with the universal stillness – the tranquility of the absolute, the eternal present. I like that phrasing best, I think. The truth of the mystic.