Monday, 30 January 2012

Verse 67


Many people talk about ‘my Tao’
with such familiarity.
What folly!
The Tao is not something found at the marketplace
or passed on from father to son.
It is not something gained by knowledge
or lost by forgetting.
If the Tao were like this
it would have been lost and forgotten long ago.
Some say my teaching is nonsense.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.

There are three jewels to cherish:
simplicity, patience and compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thought,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

The ultimate Truth is not something that can be bought or acquired. You can’t learn it or read about it or take a class in it. At best you can find pointers toward it, and some are more helpful than others.

But even the clearest pointers and the most beautifully expressed teachings have to be let go of at some point. If you truly want to realise the Tao, you must go inward and find it within yourself. That is the essence of the teaching.

Yet once you find it, you mustn’t try to grasp it, name it or conceptualise it. The moment you do so, you lose it again.

So can we allow ourselves to be rooted in that which is beyond form, definition and conception; that nameless essence that pervades the universe in its entirety?

Embodying the qualities of patience, simplicity and compassion will not only help us to travel inward and reconnect with this primordial essence, but will also benefit our outer life in all respects.

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