Following is a direct interpretation of the original Chinese . . . after, in italics, is my personal interpretation of the deeply spiritual text written by Lao Tzu many hundreds of years ago. . . . . . . JW
What greater freedom in life could we have than to realize that we alone are responsible for ourselves? No magic, no tricks, no inside track to perfections . . . and no savior. The latter is important because instead of understanding and utilizing the teachings of Christ we have chosen to avoid all that and just worship the name and rely upon grace to save us.
No doubt, it does feel good not to have to rely upon ourselves. . . granted, “believe and go to heaven” is far more palatable than ” I am responsible for my choices” and according to those choices that I make I either receive a blessing . . . or I receive a cursing.
There is a biblical law called ‘sowing and reaping’ (or karma) that follows every decision, every choice, and every thought we act upon. This life is governed in such a way that every person, regardless of religious affiliation, is absolutely, judgmentally, equal when it comes to living it.
I was once a full bore Christian. As somewhat of a bad actor I was extremely joyful the day I brought Jesus Christ into my life. I was free from all my past sinning. I was free from Hell and going to Heaven. WHAT A RUSH! I had just received a get-out-of-prison card and now I could drop all the sinning and live a holy life for Jesus.
After about seven years of church, and even a couple living 24/7’s in a Christian commune I began to realize that although we all worshiped Jesus and promoted ourselves as being a ‘special’ called out people . . . we were in reality no different than those unbelievers who lived out side the gate.
I worked with them, but these guys were not holy like me. They drank, cussed, smoked pot, and all that stuff, but when I overlooked the sins and took a look at the sinners, I found I had more in common with them than I did with the people I lived with.
It’s not that I didn’t like those people I lived with. I actually loved a few of them.
I think because of doctrinal teachings and a strange code of conduct we couldn’t be ourselves. There was always a phony pretensive language that got in the way.
OK, I said all that to say this: One day I was walking alone in the hills surrounding the farm and I began to think religious thoughts like always, but this time it was different . . . I realized that for all that time in the Christian religion . . . I had been a phony . . . I said all the right things, read all the right books, studied the bible till my eyes bled, and spoke to the best of my ability, the language of a good Christian. BUT . . . I was phony clean through and I knew it.
That day was the beginning of the end to my tour upon this planet as a holier than though born again Christian. I wanted to go back to the dark side and get drunk with my army buddies, I heard the clarion call of my hippie girl friends . . . I wanted to get high and have fun once again like I used to. It wasn’t too long after that, that I left the commune and all those, in spite of the religious nonsense, I loved dearly.
After seven years or so in the Christian community, all I took with me were only a few words: You want to be free? . . . You must realize in a real way that YOU are responsible for your actions in this life. . . . period.
That all happened in the late sixties . . . and to this day some 40 years later those words are still guiding me through this life. Be kind . . . empathetic . . . give a blessing to everybody you come in contact with . . . forget about being perfect, you ain’t. Not even close. . . And above all else realize that you are responsible for your actions and you will suffer or enjoy the fruits of all of them.
My heaven is not out there somewhere after I’m dead . . . my heaven is HERE right now on this planet. This is the gift God gave to all of us . . . and this ecological nightmare is the thanks that He/She/It gets for creating it. I no longer have all the answers. I no longer quote scripture, or get caught up in the jargon of the religious. And when it comes to “Father forgive them, for they know what they do?” We DO know what we are doing . . . ..and are about to pay a karmic debt larger and more intense than we will be able to bear. As designated stewards this planet was created to be our Heaven. We are instead creating our Heaven into our Hell.
Don’t believe it? Look around.
Two men looked out through the same bars . . . One saw the mud – One saw the stars.
The United States today is in decline. Only those who have been blinded by the constant flow of psychological manipulation coming from our churches and media outlets can believe otherwise. To all others she is undoubtedly suffering the same death throes that all empires before her have suffered.
The only question is, “Where will we land?” . . . Will we hit the ground hard like the Greeks and Romans did . . . or will we ease our way off the empirical platform like the English did . . . and slowly become irrelevant to the workings of the world at large?
Personally, I wonder how many of us even realize that on the spiritual plane this is the greatest and most exciting moment to be alive. Washington is losing its grip . . . religion is losing its grip . . . and we the people are beginning to awaken, more than ever before, to the realization that our greatness doesn’t exist in THEM . . . it exists within OUR very own selves, and all that other stuff is, and has always been, a diversion from the truth that WE are the creators of ourselves as well as the social orders we live in. What greater freedom in life could we have than to realize that?
At least in this country we still have ‘the freedom to choose’. We can choose love, we can choose porn . . . we are free to choose either, but love ascends and porn descends . . . we can choose uplifting, soothing music . . . we can choose the opposite rap trap. Healthy or sickly? Our choice . . . we become what we eat. We become what we think. We do this choice thing all across the board and we become the image of the compilation of all our choices.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE OURSELVES IN OUR OWN IMAGE. WE DO . . . no one else. We can never be great again, because we have never yet realized our greatness. Trump is just another self centered-pied piper-circus clown like all those before him . . . he only seems worse because we are getting smarter and more able to read between the lines.
Am I saying there is no master Creator? That God and Jesus and Mohammed and Moses and the great religions of our time are merely fairy tales not to be believed?
I am not an atheist. I am merely stating that we have a far greater part in this game called life than we have been led to believe.
From cradle to grave we are taught what is right and what is wrong . . . what to believe and what not to believe . . . . In this country we are mainly taught the many ways to get ‘stuff’, (as if stuff will make us great) but very little about who we are and what we are.
Instead of enjoying the fruits of true freedom, we are conned and imprisoned all our lives in religious and political slavery by those wanting to control us to the betterment of themselves.
Today is the greatest time in our history to be alive because all this is coming to the forefront and we are beginning to realize the spiritual powers we possess. So . . . although the physical presence of our country flounders, our spiritual selves are growing and strengthening . . . . Today is a great time to be alive.
As an example of what I’m trying to say:
I remember back in my drinking days how everybody would feel when the lights went on in the dark bar and everybody got bathed in the brightness of their own reality . . . all the ugliness that was hidden in the darkened room became exposed at once and people got instantly fidgety . . . . it was always a shock. That’s pretty much what’s going on today in America . . . the lights are coming on and the view ain’t very pretty.
What could be more exciting in this life than realizing your purpose for being here in the first place? Today it is still necessary to follow the rules of conduct and to be a good citizen, but while we do, we are also beginning to leave expectations, church doctrines and social/political teachings in the dust and are becoming the captains of our own ship.
Donald Trump is not a leader of men, he’s just another egomaniac who only wants his name in lights. I doubt his purpose for running in the first place had anything at all to do with ‘we the people’. . . . clown dancing for the media seems to be his main purpose, and for that he is very successful. As an actual leader he is an undeniable road block on the highway to his own promised greatness . . .
But as in every roadblock those stuck behind it must search another route if they want to continue on course. We, as a nation have been off course for quite a while. Trump’s contribution was to become the catalyst towards getting us back to moving in the direction we started way back in the sixties when we fought against war and the prevailing social order of the time.
We got lost that time in drugs and partying . . . this time we understand what a clown party is all about and will be more careful. Things will be different as we allow the awakening to happen naturally instead of taking the synthetic route. Many are ready to begin, just listen to this little girl . . .
Those who overly pride wealth is like the overflowing water which shall cause damages. It is better to restrain early.
Those who are not content with fame is like polishing the edge of a knife. The sharper it gets, the easier it is to break.
Wealth and treasures are but illusions that one cannot possess.
Those who are arrogant of their wealth and fame shall invite blame upon oneself.
Watch the ego, get too full of yourself and you will just make a mess of everything.
Don’t think the knife will remain sharp forever . . . it won’t.
Everything in the Known ultimately deteriorates.
Why be such a fool as to store your wealth in another man’s house, where it will just become a source of worry?
Why not release those chains of insecurity, and share your possessions with the needy while you can?
Then when you age and retire you will be at peace within the Tao and have no fear of death.
A person of great virtue is like the flowing water. Water benefits all things and contends not with them.
It puts itself in a place that no one wishes to be and thus is closest to Tao. A virtuous person is like water which adapts itself to the perfect place. His mind is like the deep water that is calm and peaceful.
His heart is kind like water that benefits all.
His words are sincere like the constant flow of water.
His governing is natural without desire which is like the softness of water that penetrates through hard rocks.
His work is of talent like the free flow of water.
His movement is of right timing like water that flows smoothly.
A virtuous person never forces his way and hence will not make faults.
The Tao is like an oasis in the desert. Her waters provide an endless source of nourishment to all life forms.
To a home she provides the foundation.
To the mind she guards us from foolish thoughts.
She teaches us the way of kindness when dealing with others.
In speech she teaches us to guard our tongue and speak in a simple, direct voice so as not to confuse anyone with double talk.
In government she teaches us orderliness and humility of purpose.
In all our affairs we must call upon her wisdom.
She teaches us not to put off till tomorrow what we should do today.
The Tao never forces us into a corner in such a way that we could blame her for our silliness.
Sharing this because I feel it is so very important to realize what these drugs may be doing to us and our children.
It’s hard these days to discern truth from a bare faced lie, mainly because we have been trained diligently to trust our leaders and the medicines they prescribe . . . these days that may be a dangerous proposition.
This article is posted with permission from our friends at Greenmedinfo.com. For more news from them, you can sign up for their newsletter here. It was written by Dr. Kelly Brogan. Psychiatric medications have some dangerous, often-overlooked side effects, which could include suicide and homicide. On May 17, 2017, we learned that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had reportedly committed suicide…
Heaven is everlasting and earth is enduring.
The reason that they are everlasting is because they do not exist for themselves. Hence, they are long lived.
Thus, although the saint puts himself last, finds himself in the lead. Although he is not self-concerned, finds himself accomplished.
It is because he is not focused on self-interests and hence can fulfill his true nature.
Heaven and Earth will exist forever because they are the known presence of the unknown Tao. (God)
The wise man understands the meaning of “oneness” therefore as he quietly remains in shadow, his spirit dances in the sun light for all to see.
original interpretation . . .
Spirit of the valley is immortal.
It is called the mystic nature.
The gate o f the mystic nature is regarded as the root of the universe.
It is everlasting and cannot be consumed.
my interpretation . . .
The Yin mother never dies.
Her home is in the valley.
Her womb is the birth place of all things, it will never dry up.
Mother Yin eternally woos Father Yang from his place of light upon the mountain top.
For it’s in her valley where he plants his seed and learns the meaning of the Tao.
This endless cycle is what keeps man rooted to the Earth.
Is not the earth a school house and pathway to the gods?
I love this guy! . . . always did from the first time I heard him speak those many years ago.
by Alan Watts: The experiences resulting from the use of psychedelic drugs are often described in religious terms. They are therefore of interest to those like myself who, in the tradition of William James, are concerned with the psychology of religion. For more than thirty years I have been studying the causes, the consequences, and the…
Original interpretation . . .
Nature nurtures all things with the wholeness of complete virtue.
It shows the greatest and perfect kindness by giving life to let all things grow and accomplish them with the hastening of harvest.
Therefore, according to ancient custom, nature may seem unkind to regard all beings as a traditional straw dog for sacrifice.
And likewise with a saint, he may seem unkind to regard people as a traditional straw dog for sacrifice.
The space between heaven and earth is like the bellows, it appears empty yet it gives a supply that never fails;
The more it moves, the more it brings forth. Many words lead to exhaustion.
It is better to center on the true essence within.
My interpretation . . .
Creation, though seemingly ruthless at times, has a joyous plan for all living things.
There is a special plan for mankind, that once in place, will have made the moments of joy followed by the hours of sorrow that we now endure, well worth the struggle.
Do not the heavens breathe life onto this earth as well as withdraw it?
Quietly we stand in awe, listening for the Tao, as it breathes life onto this planet and into it’s inhabitants.