Eighteenth Verse of the Tao Te Ching:

When the greatness of the Tao is present,
action arises from one’s own heart.
When the greatness of the Tao is absent,
action comes from the rules
of “kindness and justice.”
If you need rules to be kind and just,
if you act virtuous,
this is a sure sign that virtue is absent.
Thus we see the great hypocrisy.
When kinship falls into discord,
piety and rites of devotion arise.
When the country falls into chaos,
official loyalists will appear;
patriotism is born.

Author’s Commentary:

What if there were no laws governing divorce? No attorneys, no fighting, no court, but you found yourself in the situation of separating from your spouse. How would you behave? What would you do?

My grandmother once told me that “integrity” meant doing the right thing even when no one was watching.

When we allow our decisions to come from our heart-center, our actions are virtuous, kind, rewarding, and uplifting. Everyone benefits.

When we make decisions based upon fear and scarcity, someone always loses and since there’s really only one of us here, it’s always you.

No choice, no action, goes by without a consequence. We may not see the consequence right away, but it’s always there. Our universe is perfect and just, although it may not always seem so. We each must be the kindness, the loving, and the peace we want to see in the world before we can truly have a kind, loving, and peaceful world.

Acting in a kind, loving, or peaceful way when your secret agenda is to control and manipulate can never result in a peaceful existence.

I’m a divorce lawyer and have been for a long time. My ex-wife is also a divorce lawyer. When we divorced, we put no agreement in writing and didn’t follow the strict provisions of the family code of our state. We did what worked best for us out of love and respect for each other and our kids.

Am I saying this because I want you to think that she and I are enlightened beings? No, I’m bringing this forward because I see enormous resources being spent on lawyers arguing over and formalizing agreements, filing reams of paperwork, arguing endlessly over diving up time and money, when so much time and all the money is simply wasted on fighting.

If we simply choose to rise above the confines of the law and treat each other with kindness, respect, compassion, and fairness, we can eliminate the conflict and live harmoniously without the need for what often feels like draconian laws… not to mention how much money would be saved for your kid’s college tuition, instead of lining your lawyer’s pockets.

What I’m suggesting can be very hard to do, especially since you’re probably saying, “But Mike, you don’t know my husband, he’s as crooked as it gets. I have to protect myself!” Trust me, I understand the perspective completely, but I also truly believe that your external circumstances are only a reflection of your inner reality.

If you believe your spouse to be untrustworthy, try figuring out how it is that you don’t trust yourself. Bring light to the dark places within.

Invite the pain to speak to you and explain why it hurts. Practice loving and trusting yourself unconditionally. Forgive yourself as being untrustworthy. Forgive yourself for judging your spouse as untrustworthy.

Love the parts inside of you that are hurting, surrender your fears and anxieties to something greater than your idea of you. Trust spirit to provide you with the perfect experiences that provide the opportunities for you to heal, learn, and grow.

We live in a perfect, holographic universe where all actions have consequences. By being fair, kind, reasonable, compassionate, loving, and peaceful, only good consequences can ultimately result.

By living above the need for law, you raise your core frequency (inner state of being) to align with a reality where eventually laws governing conduct are simply unnecessary. Change can only start with you.

Love & Light Ahead!

Michael C. Cotugno, Esq.
Conscious Divorce Attorney & Coach
M.A. in Spiritual Psychology