Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Verse 6


The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible.
It gives birth to infinite worlds,
yet its immaculate purity is never lost.
It assumes countless forms,
yet its true identity remains intact.

Listen to its voice,
hear it echo through creation.
Although invisible, it endures;
it will never end.
Without fail, it brings us
to our own perfection.

Using different translations of the Tao Te Ching, I rearranged the words of this verse quite a bit to best reflect what I feel is the essence of its message.

Lao Tzu moves deeper into his meditation upon the nature of the Tao, which is here referred to as the “Great Mother”, or the “mysterious feminine” and states that it lies at the root of creation.

Perhaps this “Great Mother” might be envisaged as being like a vast ocean. From the ocean seemingly separate forms might appear, such as waves rippling on the surface of the ocean and water rising as vapour and appearing as clouds in the sky. But the nature and substance of these forms remains of the ocean and, before long, the forms dissolve and return back to their source. As it happens, the Tao is compared to water more than once in subsequent verses of the text.

Although the Great Mother has taken form as universes, galaxies, stars, planets and various life forms, its true nature is unchanged and undiminished and can still be found within the forms themselves, as their very essence.

Although the myriad forms of life change and eventually dissolve, the great Oneness of the Tao remains untouched and unchanging throughout it all.

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