Thursday, 12 January 2012

Verse 45


The greatest perfection seems imperfect,
yet its use is inexhaustible.
The greatest fullness seems empty,
yet its use is endless.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True eloquence seems awkward.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.

Stillness and tranquility set things in order
in the universe.
The Master allows things to happen.
He shapes events as they come.
He steps out of the way
and allows the Tao to speak for itself.

Truth is beyond the scope of the grasping mind and rarely comes in the shape and form it is expected. The function of the mind is to divide, compartmentalise and categorise that which is ultimately indivisible. Thus we fail to understand that seeming imperfection is part of an overriding perfection and the emptiness at the core of our being is actually the true fullness of life in all its splendour.

We keep looking for things in all the wrong places. Because the mind has a notion of what life is, what it ought to be, what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’, what’s ‘spiritual’ and ‘not spiritual’ and what’s ‘true’ and ‘not true’, we miss the obvious and are deceived by the paradoxes of life. This verse opens us to the possibility that the greatest wisdom, perfection and truth is actually the opposite of what we assume.
The final paragraph re-emphasises the Way of the Master, he or she that is at one with life. When the ‘person’ is set aside, the Tao is allowed to flow through the space previously occupied by notions of selfhood and ego.

‘Stepping out the way’ means letting go of the ego’s need to be in the driving seat, and allowing the process of life, the Tao, to flow as it naturally does, unhindered, unobstructed. We then become like a flute, through which the breath of life sounds its own primordial melody. Stop, allow and listen: it’s not so much coming from you as it is coming through you.

No comments:

Post a Comment