Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Tuesdays with Tao: Five - Impartial Nature

A Doorway to the Way of Tao?

:: Every Tuesday, I've been publishing one more chapter of my personal re-interpretation of Lao-tzu's awesomely inspiring and quietly wise Tao Te Ching. Despite being written down some 25 centuries ago, it is a marvel of contemporary insight. The opening chapter, The Essence of Tao, is here.

Lao-tzu sometimes uses the word "nature" as a synonym for Tao. Taoism recognizes, profoundly, in a way overlooked by most religions, that we are one with the world, a part of the physical reality we call the earth, and our power comes form being a part of it, not beyond it, or temporarily hampered by it. Alan Watts makes a delicious observation that we don't "come into the world" but "come out of it", like a leaf on a tree ... we are not a separate piece of matter in the world but rather an extension of the "one piece of matter" which is Tao.

Five - Impartial Nature

Nature is not sentimental;

it faces the world impartially.

The Sage is neither kind nor hateful;

he treats all he meets with parity.

Like a bellows, Nature is empty;

yet in moving, inexhaustible as a giver of breath.

And so the Sage, in witnessing Nature,

finds his own wisdom constantly replenished.

Just as Nature's power lies internally,

your own good is found within.

Comments welcome!

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