Tao

UPDATE: Will leave this post in place until the Inauguration is done and dusted!

Yesterday I posted on Facebook: I have long loved this from the Tao Te Ching, especially this translation:

Tao Te Ching – Verse 67

Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)

Statue — Fujian Province, China

There is a good online translation of the Tao Te Ching by Derek Liu:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

I would that all religions, perhaps most especially the three great religions of The Book, would modify their belief with that opening statement. If they did there would be much less bigotry in the world.

See also Wikipedia and The Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Finally, this article is worth looking at: The Tao Te Ching by Laozi: ancient wisdom for modern times.

Two thousand four hundred years after it was composed, we need the Tao Te Ching’s lessons in self-awareness more than ever. Little can be said with absolute certainty about the origins of the Tao Te Ching. Consensus suggests it was written around 400BC by one Laozi. Laozi translates simply as “old master” – a hint that the author’s (or authors’) true name has been lost for ever.

Tao Te Ching translates very roughly as “the way of integrity”. In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible….