Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Character Of Tao

On The Absolute Tao

The Tao the can be told of Is not the Absolute Tao; The Names that can be given Are not Absolute Names. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The Named is the Mother of All Things. Therefore: Oftentimes, one strips oneself of passion In order to see the Secret of Life; Oftentimes, one regards life with passion, In order to see
its manifest forms. These two (the Secret and its manifestations) Are (in their nature) the same; They are given different names When they become manifest. They may both be called the Cosmic Mystery: Reaching from the Mystery into the Deeper Mystery Is the Gate to the Secret of All Life.

The Rise Of Relative Opposites

When the people of the Earth all know beauty as beauty, There arises (the recognition of) ugliness. When the people of the Earth all know the good as good, There arises (the recognition of) evil. Therefore: Being and non-being interdepend in growth; Difficult and easy
interdepend in completion; Long and short interdepend in contrast; High and low interdepend in position; Tones and voice interdepend in harmony; Front and behind interdepend in company. Therefore the Sage: Manages affairs without action; Preaches the doctrine without words; All things take their rise, but he does not turn away from them; He gives them life, but does not take possession of them; He acts, but does not appropriate; Accomplishes, but claims no credit. It is because he lays claim to no credit That the credit cannot be taken away from him.