True Love, Jesus, Laozi and the I Ching

Published: Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Updated: Saturday, 8 August 2015

Often, we can wonder if there is a connection between all the religions and sometimes we can discover bridges between them. A known example of such connections is the link between the Taoist notion of wu wei (non-action) which is described in the Bhagavad Gita as selfless action.

But sometimes we can find deeper links. The second commandment of Jesus is very difficult to understand, and certainly to practice. What does it say? We can find it in Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


The first one is easy to understand, but is it easy to love your neighbors? No, it's quite impossible even. We cannot love everyone. So, did Jesus lose his mind that day? Not at all. He was speaking about the Yin principle.

The first commandment: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ describes the Yang principle.



The Yang principle is represented by one continuous line, it is the symbol for Heaven, but also for the action. We love God by practicing selfless action, wu wei, by dedicating our actions to God. This principle is described at multiple places, in the Tao Te Ching and in the Bhagavad Gita, and has also some echoes in the Bible. Here is for example a quote from the chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita.

Lord Krishna said: One who performs the prescribed duty with­out seeking its fruit for personal enjoyment is both a renunciant and a KarmaYogi. One does not become a renunciant merely by not lighting the fire, and one does not become a yogi merely by abstaining from work.

O Arjuna, renunciation (Samnyasa) is same as KarmaYoga. Because, no one becomes a KarmaYogi who has not renounced the selfish mo­tive behind an action.


Then comes the second commandment which describes the Yin principle:



The Yin principle is represented by two short lines, it is the symbol for Earth. What Jesus said is that each of the two lines must love the other. When it comes to you, the second line is your alter ego, or your True Love. True Lovers are of the same nature, and they have to consider their alter ego as themselves. We cannot love everyone, that would be too difficult, but we can find our True Love, seek union and work together. Our True Love is not someone that we can own or possess, this is the being connected to us in a special way. We can separate from our alter ego, but only for a time because inevitably the two will reunite and work together. Your True Love is your other self.

Jesus also explains that the Yin and the Yang combine together:

‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

The Law is described in the I Ching, where six lines either Ying or Yang describe every possible situation. As Zhuangzi noted:

Lieh Tzu could ride the wind and go soaring around with cool and breezy skill, but after fifteen days he came back to earth. As far as the search for good fortune went, he didn't fret and worry. He escaped the trouble of walking, but he still had to depend on something to get around. If he had only mounted on the truth of Heaven and Earth, ridden the changes of the six breaths, and thus wandered through the boundless, then what would he have had to depend on?


Here the six breaths represent the hexagrams of the I Ching.

Finally, here is what Laozi says in the Tao Te Ching, chapter 1:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

The named is the mother of myriad things

Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

These two emerge together but differ in name

The unity is said to be the mystery

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders


Constantly without desire, one practices wu wei and is connected to God. Constantly with desire, one works with their True Love and gives birth to beings and things.

The unity of the two is Love, ‘Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders.’


Please login to reply