Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Tao

I came across a favorite book of mine today. The Tao Te Ching.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used but never filled.
Oh, unfathomable source of ten thousand things.

TH ewise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently.
The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again.
The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs out loud.
If there wer no laughter,t he Tao would not be what it is.

The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
ANd three begot the ten thousand things.

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

The beginning of the Universe is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
Brings freedom from the fear of death.

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.
Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefor is the highest state of man.

A brave and passionate man will kill or be killed.
A brave and calm man will always preserve life.
Of these two which is good and which is harmful?
Some things are not favored by heaven. Who knows why?
Even the sage is unsure of this.

Here we are...wondering...until suddenly, we remember, the true...
And we are happy, for
Here we are.

For the Amazon page for the Tao Te Ching these verses are from click on the ISBN number
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, ISBN 0-394-71833-X

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