Knowing the Loving Creator from Lao Zi. The Creator creates with love, feeds and protects with love, and yet letting the creation decides for themselves. Love does not insist on its way but will always take you back when you wander away.I have said elsewhere that the study of Ancient Chinese Classics helps one to understand our, the true and living God Jesus Christ better. The translation of the Bible and the commentaries on it are done mostly from the western mindset of either-or thinking framework resulting in dichotomy struggle to understand God.
Whereas Chinese thinking starts with God. God creates one and one becomes two and so forth. Chinese thinking begins with the integrative oneness. Ancient Chinese believes in 无极生太极，太极生两仪，两仪生四象，四象生八卦 (I-Ching). The no-beginning or no ending (literally no termination) creates the great-beginning, the great-beginning creates two dimensions (Yin-Yang), two gives rise to four dimensions, and four gives rise to eight octagram. LaoZi DaoDeJing chapter 42 says 道 生 一 ， 一 生 二 ， 二 生 三 ， 三 生 万 物 。 The Dao/Word creates one (universe), one creates two, two give birth to three, and the combinations give rise to all things.
Compare with Joh 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Isa 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
Heb 7:3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
Rev_1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
The Word and Its Virtue of Love are ONE
The more interesting part, which is the purpose of this post, is to see that Way 道 and its Virtue 德 are one. It also gives us a good definition of virtue which I shall translate it as love since we proclaim that God is Love.
We shall look at LaoZi's DaoDeJing Chapter 51
A. The Creation
道 生 之 ， 德 畜 之 ， 物 形 之 ， 势 成 之 。
是 以 万 物 莫 不 尊 道 而 贵 德 。
The Way/Word creates everything.
The Virtue/Love feeds them.
The physical matters give form to them.
The environment completes them.
Genesis 1 tells us that God not only just create the universe. God created the universe with love that living things can flourish in it. God is the God of creation and of love in one. You cannot separate it. God cannot create evil because evil does not belong or come from the God that is of love.
B The Reasons for the Greatness of Love - Love give birth and doesn't Control
道 之 尊 ， 德 之 贵 ， 夫 莫 之 命 而 常 自 然 。
故 道 生 之 ， 德 畜 之 ﹔
长 之 育 之 ﹔ 成 之 熟 之 ﹔ 养 之 覆 之 。
生 而 不 有 ， 为 而 不 恃 ，
长 而 不 宰 。 是 谓 玄 德 。
The honor of the Way/Word, the value of Virtue/Love, is not enforcing his commands but always letting them to decide willingly and naturally.
Hence, it is the Way that give birth to them; the Virtue that nourishes them.
Give them growth(life) and feed them;
Bring them up and mature them; (helping them to succeed in life)
Care for them and cover them.
Give them life and yet don't own them.
Helping them and yet don't insist.
Grow them and yet not rule over them.
This is the great mysterious Virtue/Love.
It is best summarized that "Love give and bring-up life and yet insist not its own".
The Steps of Love:
- Love is not just giving birth to life and ignore it.
- Love has the responsibility to bring up the life so that it mature and succeed in life.
- Love does not insist or control the life under its care. This is the vulnerability of love. Yet is it love. Any other way will make it non-love.
- Welcoming back the Prodigal Son if ever!
God created man in love and provided for man. Yet God let man decides to betray Him. And yet, in this betrayal, God provides His very own Son Jesus Christ to die for man and make a way for man to get back to Him.
- Love wins!
1Co 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. ...
Let's see Jesus' response to the world that rejected Him:
- He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. Joh 1:10
- He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. Joh 1:11
- But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, Joh 1:12
- who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Joh 1:13
For more ... See Chinese Classics & The Bible
Lim Liat (c) 21 Oct 2011