[As always for this project, I am using the Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching, which can be found here. The interpretations and opinions expressed here are strictly my own, and may not in fact correspond with "standard doctrine" about Taoism -- this is what I make of the text. I welcome comments from anyone who might have other insights to share.]
Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.
Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.
This verse is about as straightforward a piece of advice as can be had from the Tao Te Ching, and it carries over the message from verse XXII rather nicely. In that verse, we talked about not trying to control things – not trying to bring about specific outcomes, but rather responding to what is actually manifesting around us at each moment. This verse talks about how that works. In lines 1-6, we compare this way of action to that of nature. The idea is that when something is happening, it is happening – the rain doesn't question whether it's coming down too hard, or whether it should let up a little, or whether it's doing too much damage. It simply does what it does, and when it stops, it stops and a new situation unfolds. There is no question as to whether enough rain fell down, or whether it could have rained a little more. That is how we should behave as well; in each action we should be completely present, completely committed. We should do what we intend to do, and then stop when we are done [lines 1-2].
Lines 7-15 talk about "open[ing] yourself to" an experience and becoming "at one" with it. The idea again is to open yourself to things as they are and embrace that reality completely. This holds true in both good times and bad; even the experience of loss is not something that you should try to suppress or ignore, but rather it should be fully accepted as the reality of the moment. When you are able to open yourself to the moment, your corresponding actions are authentic; there is no ego perspective holding you back. Then, you are acting in accordance with the Tao, and everything works out the way it should [lines 16-18].