Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tao Te Ching Ch 1

My Internet Era Interpretation of the Tao Te Ching. I draw from 4 translations. The sources are indented and the author is in (parentheses). You may find it helpful to read one version straight through first, then read the referenced one. Or not. Whatever works for you.

If you can think about it, it's not the full Tao.
If it has a name, it's just another thing, not the full Tao.
The Reason that can be reasoned
is not the eternal Reason.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name. (Susuki)
Even though you can't point to the Tao, it created everything around you, which you could point to.
The Unnamable is of heaven and earth the beginning.
The Namable becomes of the ten thousand things the mother. (Susuki)
When you don't want to hold on to things, you'll fully see things as they are. If you continue to want things, you'll only see things in terms of "I like this" or "I don't like this" and miss out on their other aspects.
Therefore not to desire the things of sense is to know the freedom of spirituality; and to desire is to learn the limitation of matter. (Goddard)
Actually, not wanting things is just another perspective. Understand how both perspectives can coexist if you want to see things clearly.
These two things spirit and matter, so different in nature, have the same origin. This unity of origin is the mystery of mysteries, but it is the gateway to spirituality. (Goddard)

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