4 – In darkness is development. It is not that I seek naive innocence; naive innocence seeks me. The darkness of innocence unconsciously follows the laws of God, tranquil and unstirring, yet sensitive and effective. All action flow from the fundamental essence.
Those who travel the path of dankness must go back to the darkness of innocence; only then is it the darkness that is returning to the origin. Not seeking innocence oneself means that it does not come about by formal effort, and is not attached to forms. Innocence seeking oneself means that it comes naturally and does not fall into voidness. Not clinging to forms, not falling into voidness, not material, not empty, since it is not a matter of seeking the real, one does not exclude the artificial either. Ever calm yet always responsive, always responsive yet ever calm, it is not darkness yet resembles darkness; it is darkness but actually not darkness. External things cannot enter; inside, thoughts cannot arise. One does not seek reality, but reality here.
Those who awaken to this set aside acquired conditioning to practice inner development and outward action, using development to perfect action, using action to test development. Cultivating both inside and outside, nurturing character is developmental, and actin on it is developmental as well. Nurturing character means no worthy quality is left undeveloped, fruitful action demands that every act be fruitful. Nurturance of character demands that it be nurtured until it is stable as a mountain – only then is development complete. Fruitful action demands that it be effective as a spring flowing day and night – only then fruition complete.
Action fruitful, character developed, one complete’s one’s nature and understands the meaning of life, integrated with the celestial design, unconsciously following the laws of God, This is why darkness is valued.
The Taoist – I Ching – translated by Thomas Cleary