In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.
This beginning is the Mother of the world.
To find the origin,
trace back the manifestations.
When you recognise the children
and find the Mother,
you will be free of sorrow.
When we know we are the Mother’s child,
we begin to protect the qualities of the Mother in us.
Keep your mouth shut,
guard the senses
and life is ever full.
If you keep your mind from judging
and aren’t led by the senses and desires,
your heart will find peace.
Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practising eternity.
“Gnothi Seauton” were the words inscribed above the temple at the Oracle at Delphi. It translates as “Know Thyself”, which is perhaps the most powerful piece of advice ever given in the entire history of humankind. The root of all our problems is a deep ignorance of what we are.
This verse of the Tao Te Ching advises us to trace all manifestation back to its source. Everything is this world has a common source – that source being the Tao, or the Mother of the world.
Instead of getting lost in the “world of the 10,000 things” we must always stay aware of and rooted in the origin of all external form. In other words, observe the children (the form) but hold onto the Mother (the formless).
This means finding and real-ising the Tao at the core of our being. That is what is meant by self-realisation. It is the doorway from the transient to the eternal.