From the Tao Te Ching’s teachings, what might we construe about the government shutdown and deficit default crises happening in the U.S. right now?
First, instead of there being a “union,” there seems to be a great divide in consciousness currently going on in our country, and it doesn’t take a sage to see this. Also, whenever there is conflict, there is duality. When duality is present, it can be said that the Tao (the unifying factor) withdraws. Then, as things progress, even good intentions can get thrown into a dark vortex, and the end ingredient becomes self interest and self defense. Instead of people following their conscience, the majority think in terms of “party” and “party lines.”
The meaning of the word “Te” from the Tao Te Ching means “Virtue” but another meaning can also be interpreted as “Power.” One thing the Tao Te Ching emphatically states is that any person or group that attemps to seize power for its own ends will never fully succeed.
Therefore, an agreement will only be possible, when both parties let up on the power struggle and bring the Tao back in. Then the conflict (duality) can come to its ignoble end.
From my version of the twenty ninth poem in the Tao Te Ching: