Lao Tse - Tao Te Ching (XXI-XXX)
Tuesday 22 June 2010, by
The Master keeps her mindalways at one with the Tao;that is what gives her her radiance.The Tao is ungraspable.How can her mind be at one with it?Because she doesn’t cling to ideas.The Tao is dark and unfathomable.How can it make her radiant?Because she lets it.Since before time and space were,the Tao is.It is beyond is and is not.How do I know this is true?I look inside myself and see.
If you want to become whole,let yourself be partial.If you want to become straight,let yourself be crooked.If you want to become full,let yourself be empty.If you want to be reborn,let yourself die.If you want to be given everything,give everything up.The Master, by residing in the Tao,sets an example for all beings.Because he doesn’t display himself,people can see his light.Because he has nothing to prove,people can trust his words.Because he doesn’t know who he is,people recognize themselves in him.Because he has no goad in mind,everything he does succeeds.When the ancient Masters said,"If you want to be given everything,give everything up,"they weren’t using empty phrases.Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself.
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 Taoand you can embody it completely.If you open yourself to insight,you are at one with insightand you can use it completely.If you open yourself to loss,you are at one with lossand you can accept it completely.Open yourself to the Tao,then trust your natural responses;and everything will fall into place.
He who stands on tiptoedoesn’t stand form.He who rushes aheaddoesn’t go far.He who tries to shinedims his own light.He who defines himselfcan’t know who he really is.He who has power over otherscan’t empower himself.He who clings to his workwill create nothing that endures.If you want to accord with the Tao,just do your job, then let go.
There was something formless and perfectbefore the universe was born.It is serene. Empty.Solitary. Unchanging.Infinite. Eternally present.It is the mother of the universe.For lack of a better name,I call it the Tao.It flows through all things,inside and outside, and returnsto the origin of all things.The Tao is great.The universe is great.Earth is great.Man is great.These are the four great powers.Man follows the earth.Earth follows the universe.The universe follows the Tao.The Tao follows only itself.
The heavy is the root of the light.The unmoved is the source of all movement.Thus the Master travels all daywithout leaving home.However splendid the views,she stays serenely in herself.Why should the lord of the countryflit about like a fool?If you let yourself be blown to and fro,you lose touch with your root.If you let restlessness move you,you lose touch with who you are.
A good traveler has no fixed plansand is not intent upon arriving.A good artist lets his intuitionlead him wherever it wants.A good scientist has freed himself of conceptsand keeps his mind open to what is.Thus the Master is available to all peopleand doesn’t reject anyone.He is ready to use all situationsand doesn’t waste anything.This is called embodying the light.What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?What is a bad man but a good man’s job?If you don’t understand this, you will get lost,however intelligent you are.It is the great secret.
Know the male,yet keep to the female:receive the world in your arms.If you receive the world,the Tao will never leave youand you will be like a little child.Know the white,yet keep to the black:be a pattern for the world.If you are a pattern for the world,the Tao will be strong inside youand there will be nothing you can’t do.Know the personal,yet keep to the impersonal:accept the world as it is.If you accept the world,the Tao will be luminous inside youand you will return to your primal self.The world is formed from the void,like utensils from a block of wood.The Master knows the utensils,yet keeps to the the block:thus she can use all things.
Do you want to improve the world?I don’t think it can be done.The world is sacred.It can’t be improved.If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.There is a time for being ahead,a time for being behind;a time for being in motion,a time for being at rest;a time for being vigorous,a time for being exhausted;a time for being safe,a time for being in danger.The Master sees things as they are,without trying to control them.She lets them go their own way,and resides at the center of the circle.
Whoever relies on the Tao in governing mendoesn’t try to force issuesor defeat enemies by force of arms.For every force there is a counterforce.Violence, even well intentioned,always rebounds upon oneself.The Master does his joband then stops.He understands that the universeis forever out of control,and that trying to dominate eventsgoes against the current of the Tao.Because he believes in himself,he doesn’t try to convince others.Because he is content with himself,he doesn’t need others’ approval.Because he accepts himself,the whole world accepts him.
Source : http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu