Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tao Te Ching

I've been rereading for the umpteenth time the Tao Te Ching. I don't know any text more worth rereading than this one.


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 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.

                      —Lao Tsu    TAO TE CHING
                         translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Aaaah yes - the wisdom and mystery of the universe (within and without) made manifest.
A Tao (verse) a day would be great Dan! :-)

jinksy said...

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

This statement is well worth pondering...

Jenny Stevning said...

Wow! I love it! Have never read the Tao Te Ching. I think I shall.

The Pollinatrix said...

I saw the title for this post on my blog list and immediately said to myself, "Oh goody!" I too love the Tao Te Ching, and am at heart a Taoist. It's sort of the bottom line for me. I just don't talk about it much because, well, "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao."

Rebecca Johnson said...

I love the line "Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations". As long as my goal is getting behind the veil/cracking the code/solving the mystery, I will only be able to experience the manifestations. When I let go of all of my desiring I will truly know. I don't think that it's going to happen in this life time. Maybe next time around. ; )

Polli's comment cracks me up. As usual.


Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, I like the idea, too. I shall post it here on a regular basis. I LOVE the Tao Te Ching.

Dan Gurney said...

jinksy, yes. of course there's some irony in calling anything nameless. i guess that's why dance, music, sculpture, painting, etc. are so valuable. Through them the nameless can appear.

Dan Gurney said...

Polly, I like to remember Suzuki Roshi's epigram:

"If it's not paradoxical, it's not true."

Dan Gurney said...

Rebecca, yes, in some views, it takes many many lifetimes to get to the sublime place. That particular line sounds really in harmony with Theravadin Buddhism. Parts of the Dhammapada sound very much like it.

Dan Gurney said...

Jenny, great! There are many translations to investigate. My favorite is the one I quoted (and plan to quote more) from. I'm surprised you've never read it, and I'm willing to guess that you'll like it. Maybe a lot.

Alden Smith said...

Dan, I love, love the photograph - I have a fantasy of going out into deep space in my own space ship and taking a look at a galaxy up close like this - it is a fitting photograph for the Tao Te Ching.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden.

Of all the things we've lofted into space, probably the Hubble Space telescope has brought more wonder and joy than any other.