The Tao te Ching says, The Tao gives birth to one. One gives birth to two. Two gives birth to three. Three gives birth to all things.
It’s kind of lofty and romantic to think of something arising from nothing. It brings to mind terms like the Void, God, the Spirit of existence, and the Womb of creation. We can also conger up scientific images depicting the universe arising out of amorphous gas as the big bang brought all things into existence.
Taoist roots of Chinese medicine also talk about the mysterious pass: The Mysterious Pass is the seed, which buds to form Heaven and Earth. All things in the corporeal world rise from it. It is located both inside and outside the human body. It serves as a bridge connecting existence and nonexistence.
This bridge that connects non-being and being, is also that which takes existence into non-existence. On deeper look, Eastern thought reminds us that something does not actually arise from nothing, but that all manifestation comes to an end, returning to the void, which then gives rise to all things. Life is a continuum of death and birth.
I had my first taste of this process when I was trying to conceive. I believed if I just added more to my lacking self, I would somehow be able to create something out of nothing. I ate better, went to acupuncture, took qi gong classes, monitored my ovulation, timed sex, drank herbs, and tried to find out more and more about what I was missing. What I failed to grasp, however, was that the real fertilizer is discovering what must die. I needed to work less, sleep more. I had to shed limiting, stressful thoughts, actions, and behaviors. I needed to stop living my life as if I was lacking, and the source of life was based on scarcity.
I teach women to live according to the laws of the universe when they are trying to conceive, not the laws of man. Nature demands something for something. Life does not arise from clean, tidy rules. Decay and detritus feed new growth. We take in as we release. We take on as we give up. Life comes as life goes. Birth is one of the most violent, messy processes in existence. Conception cannot be controlled. Yet, when we move into the unpredictable, chaotic place of all possibilities, we are walking the mysterious pass, which takes our offering of something old and brings forth something new.
Randine Lewis, L.Ac., Ph.D., www.thefertilesoul.com