Thursday, 5 January 2012

Verse 25


There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
Is is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.

Here Lao Tzu provides some more pointers to the Absolute, that primordial essence which, for lack of a better name, he calls the Tao.

He tells us it is everywhere and in everything; older than the universe itself; empty, serene, unchanging, infinite.

Mention of the word ‘return’ is significant, for ‘returning’ is the motion of the Tao. It expands outward from its place of singular formlessness and creates a multiplicity of form and expression – everything in the phenomenal world that seems to have separate existence – and eventually all these things return to their source, to their origin in the Tao.

The universe is microcosm of the great Tao; just as the earth is a microcosm of the universe, and we of it. Like a hologram, each and every part contains the essence of the whole.

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