Lao Tse - Tao Te Ching (I-X)
Monday 21 June 2010, by
The tao that can be toldis not the eternal TaoThe name that can be namedis not the eternal Name.The unnamable is the eternally real.Naming is the originof all particular things.Free from desire, you realize the mystery.Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.Yet mystery and manifestationsarise from the same source.This source is called darkness.Darkness within darkness.The gateway to all understanding.
When people see some things as beautiful,other things become ugly.When people see some things as good,other things become bad.Being and non-being create each other.Difficult and easy support each other.Long and short define each other.High and low depend on each other.Before and after follow each other.Therefore the Masteracts without doing anythingand teaches without saying anything.Things arise and she lets them come;things disappear and she lets them go.She has but doesn’t possess,acts but doesn’t expect.When her work is done, she forgets it.That is why it lasts forever.
If you overesteem great men,people become powerless.If you overvalue possessions,people begin to steal.The Master leadsby emptying people’s mindsand filling their cores,by weakening their ambitionand toughening their resolve.He helps people lose everythingthey know, everything they desire,and creates confusionin those who think that they know.Practice not-doing,and everything will fall into place.
The Tao is like a well:used but never used up.It is like the eternal void:filled with infinite possibilities.It is hidden but always present.I don’t know who gave birth to it.It is older than God.
The Tao doesn’t take sides;it gives birth to both good and evil.The Master doesn’t take sides;she welcomes both saints and sinners.The Tao is like a bellows:it is empty yet infinitely capable.The more you use it, the more it produces;the more you talk of it, the less you understand.Hold on to the center.
The Tao is called the Great Mother:empty yet inexhaustible,it gives birth to infinite worlds.It is always present within you.You can use it any way you want.
The Tao is infinite, eternal.Why is it eternal?It was never born;thus it can never die.Why is it infinite?It has no desires for itself;thus it is present for all beings.The Master stays behind;that is why she is ahead.She is detached from all things;that is why she is one with them.Because she has let go of herself,she is perfectly fulfilled.
The supreme good is like water,which nourishes all things without trying to.It is content with the low places that people disdain.Thus it is like the Tao.In dwelling, live close to the ground.In thinking, keep to the simple.In conflict, be fair and generous.In governing, don’t try to control.In work, do what you enjoy.In family life, be completely present.When you are content to be simply yourselfand don’t compare or compete,everybody will respect you.
Fill your bowl to the brimand it will spill.Keep sharpening your knifeand it will blunt.Chase after money and securityand your heart will never unclench.Care about people’s approvaland you will be their prisoner.Do your work, then step back.The only path to serenity.
Can you coax your mind from its wanderingand keep to the original oneness?Can you let your body becomesupple as a newborn child’s?Can you cleanse your inner visionuntil you see nothing but the light?Can you love people and lead themwithout imposing your will?Can you deal with the most vital mattersby letting events take their course?Can you step back from you own mindand thus understand all things?Giving birth and nourishing,having without possessing,acting with no expectations,leading and not trying to control:this is the supreme virtue.
Source : http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu