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Observations placeholder

Tzu, Lao - A Way you can call Way isn’t the perennial Way



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Way you can call Way isn’t the perennial Way
A name you can name isn’t the perennial name:
the named is mother to the ten thousand things,
but the unnamed is origin to all heaven and earth

In perennial absence you see mystery,
and in perennial presence you see appearance.
Though the two are one and the same,
once they arise, they differ in name.

One and the same they’re called dark-enigma,
dark-enigma deep within dark-enigma,
gateway of all mystery

All beneath heaven knows beauty is beauty
only because there’s ugliness,
and knows good is good
only because there’s evil.

Presence and absence give birth to one another,
difficult and easy complete one another,
long and short measure one another,
high and low fill one another,
music and noise harmonize one another,
before and after follow one another:

that’s why a sage abides in the realm of nothing’s own doing
living out that wordless teaching.
The ten thousand things arise without beginnings there,
abide without waiting there,
come to perfection without dwelling there.
Without dwelling there: that’s the one way
you’ll never lose it.

Never bestow honors
and people won’t quarrel.
Never prize rare treasures
and people won’t steal.
Never flaunt alluring things
and people won’t be confused.

This is how a sage governs.
Fill bellies and empty minds,
strengthen bones and weaken ambition,
always keep the people from knowing and wanting,
then those who know are those who never presume to act
If you’re nothing doing whatever you do
all things will be governed well.

The valley spirit never dies.
It’s called dark female-enigma,
and the gateway of dark female-enigma
is called the root of heaven and earth,
gossamer so unceasing it seems real.
Use it: it’s effortless.

Heaven goes on forever.
Earth endures forever.
There’s a reason heaven and earth go on enduring forever
their life isn’t their own
so their life goes on forever.

Hence, in putting himself last
the sage puts himself first,
and in giving himself up
he preserves himself.
If you aren’t free of yourself
how will you ever become yourself?

Can you let your spirit embrace primal unity
without drifting away?

Can you focus ch’i into such softness
you’re a newborn aain?

Can you polish the dark-enigma mirror
to a clarity beyond stain?
Can you make loving the people and ruling the nation
nothing’s own doing?

Can you be female
opening and closing heaven’s gate?

Can you fathom earth’s four distances with radiant wisdom
and know nothing?

Give birth and nurture.
Give birth without possessing
and foster without dominating:
this is called dark-enigma Integrity.

                              (end of opening verses of Tao Teh Ching.)


The source of the experience

Tzu, Lao

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps