Tao Te Ching (chapter seven)

good vs evil

Original interpretation:

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.

 

My interpretation:

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.

Tao Te Ching (chapter six)

good vs evil

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 thingsit 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?

 

Tao Te Ching (chapter five)

good vs evil

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.

 

Tao Te Ching (chapter four)

good vs evil

Original interpretation:

Tao (The Way) can be infused into the nature and put to use without being exhausted. It is so deep and subtle like an abyss that is the origin of all things.

It is complete and perfect as a wholeness that can Round off sharp edges;

Resolve confusion; Harmonize with the glory;

Act in unity with the lowliness.

Tao is so profound and yet in invisible, It exists in everywhere and anywhere. I do not know whose Son It is, It existed before heaven and earth.

My interpretation:

Because the Tao exists in the unknown world, it has no beginning, nor does it have an ending.

Therefore it fills the known creation from the endless source that will never run dry.

Like an ocean wave the Tao will eventually:

Blunt the sharpest object.

Untangle the largest knot.

Soften the strongest glare.

The Tao will ultimately work balance into all things.

Intuitively man senses her presence, but the Tao reveals herself so quietly, or so loudly, from so great a distance, or so closely, who can know her?

Is she the mother of God?

Tao Te Ching (chapter three)

good vs evil

Original . . .

By not adoring the worthy, people will not fall into dispute.

By not valuing the hard to get objects, people will not become robbers. By not seeing the desires of lust, one’s heart will not be confused.

Therefore the governing of the saint is to empty one’s mind, substantiate one’s virtue, weaken one’s worldly ambition and strengthen one’s essence.

He lets the people to be innocent of worldly knowledge and desire, and keeps the clever ones from making trouble with their wits.

Acts naturally without desire, then everything will be accomplished in its natural order.

My interpretation . . .

The wise man knows it’s best to lead by example rather than by words.

He understands the hearts of men and treats all, regardless of rank, equally.

He is as comfortable feasting with kings as he is sharing bread with the laborer.

He respects all men under his control, but his eyes remain open.

He watches over his men diligently, but from a distance.

The charlatan soon learns to take his evil deeds elsewhere.

Tao Te Ching (chapter Two)

good vs evil

Original . . .

As soon as beauty is known by the world as beautiful, it becomes ugly.

As soon as virtue is being known as something good, it becomes evil.

Therefore being and non-being give birth to each other.

Difficult and easy accomplish each other.

Long and short form each other.

High and low distinguish each other.

Sound and tone harmonize each other.

Before and after follow each other as a sequence.

Realizing this, the saint performs effortlessly according to the natural Way without personal desire, and practices the wordless teaching thru one’s deeds.

The saint inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back. He nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.

My interpretation . . .

We only know beauty because there is ugliness.

We only know good because there is evil.

Without this duality how would we learn to make the right choices? How would we grow in wisdom? How would we experience the joy if we had not the counter weight of sorrow? For every positive in life there is a negative to accompany it.

A wise man understands the necessity for duality, but he does not succumb to its negative influence, rather he seeks a perfect balance between the two.

A wise man enjoys the learning curve he must take to create the object far more than it’s completion.

A wise man has the ability to see both sides of an argument. He knows that perception leads the hearts of men, and makes allowances for it’s deception in others as well as himself.

He is empathetic towards those who take the opposite view, and never glories in prideful conceit.

His success goes with him and his works endure forever.

 

The Tao (chapter One)

good vs evilThe mystery is great, and the levels of understanding are many in the Tao Te Ching. This is a writing that must be spiritually discerned by the reader or else he will forever find himself walking in circles.

Following is the more direct (81) chapter’s interpretation of the original Chinese . . . after, in italics, is my personal interpretation. I don’t claim anything for it other than that fact . . . it’s my own understanding of a deep and spirit worthy text written by Lao Tzu many hundreds of years ago. . . . . . . JW

Tao Te Ching
Chapter One

Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao’
The name that can be named is not a Constant Name.

Nameless, is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The named is the Mother of all things.

Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence.
The constant being enables one to see the outward manifestations.
These two come paired from the same origin.

But when the essence is manifested,
It has a different name.

This same origin is called “The Profound Mystery.”
As profound the mystery as It can be,
It is the Gate to the essence of all life.

My interpretation:

Before the beginning there was the Unknown.

At the beginning the Unknown split into two parts.

One part remained the unknown, the other formed the heavens and the earth.

Man, unable to understand the Unknown, either worships it or denies it’s existence.

There are some things in life that must be experienced in order to understand them.

Listening to music.

The taste of a fresh peach.

The touch of a lover.

The scent of fresh rain in a forest.

The view from the top of a mountain.

In all these cases, to deprive the senses from experiencing, is to deprive the knowing.

The Tao must also be experienced.

Give her a name and she becomes a religion.

Ignore her and she will never cease knocking at your door.

JW

 

Thought for the Day: Would You Rather Be a Cow? — Goodnight, Apollo

What a weird question. I recall saying nothing, but wondering why I had been asked this strange question – in the first place. The answer may surprise you. It surprised me. I was shown a cow, and a large pasture. It was beautiful. The cow had acres to run through, and a little creek towards […]

via Thought for the Day: Would You Rather Be a Cow? — Goodnight, Apollo

Love Your Mother . . .

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I know God . . . I see him every time I look into a mirror . . . so do you . . . so does everybody that owns a beating heart . . . including my dog . . . including the acorns in my yard.

To know the mystery in totality is to know that which lies beyond the structure of time and space, we can’t do that . . . but we can see the mystery manifested in each of those things I just mentioned . . .

It’s easy until we begin to lose sight of the forest and fall in love with our favorite tree . . . until we deny our responsibility in all this . . . until we deny the effects of our creativity both personally and corporately . . . until we deny that the mystery gave us this Earth to be our living heaven and we have chosen instead to recreate it into our living hell.

As we go about our day praying for the future heaven . . . perhaps, just perhaps we may already be there. Instead of waiting for a new home in a new place, perhaps we ought to get busy cleaning up this one . . . it may be the only one we get!

A Dog Story (repost)

Copy of raventhedog

Everybody loves a dog story . . . right? Well here’s my latest one. It happened yesterday.


I arose from my reading and looked out the front window. The sun was beginning to brighten the hilltop across the narrow country lane and Raven, who was watching my every move, knew it was walk time. I knew she was about to go into her, ‘super dance for a walk,’ routine so I calmed her with a nose bump (pitbulls like that) and got things together for the walk outside to Max’s pen.

Every morning without fail, as soon as they see each other, both dogs break the silence by yelping and barking at one another when Raven attempts to play ‘attack’ with Max. It’s no big deal though, because there are no closeby neighbors. Anyways, once lined up and moving in a straight line things get quiet again and we are on our way down the middle of the lane for our daily trip to the head of the valley and back.

I generally spend my time daydreaming and looking for herbs alongside the road while the dogs try and see how many of those herbs they can pee on before I get to them. The lane itself winds gently through heavy woods and is always scattered with various animal scents, so along with herb hunting I spend my time cajoling, pleading, and pulling at the the dog’s leashes, one in each hand like a guy driving a mule team trying to keep the whole thing going in a straight line. One more big, strong dog and I will be skating on the soles of my boots.

All is fine until I get about a half mile from the cabin when I begin to see a blood trail on the road. ‘Wow, someone must have hit a deer’, I thought at first. Then I glanced over at Max and saw that he was the guy bleeding . . . not just beeding . . .  HE WAS GUSHING BLOOD! . . . Bright red blood that was squirting from his front pad in a long thin stream.

I quickly went to my knees in the middle of the road and grabbed the foot in order to apply enough pressure to stop the bleed. As I did, Raven, probably thinking it was play time dove on Max and would not stop no matter how hard I tried or how hard I yelled. . . she went totally nuts when she smelled the blood that by this time was pooling around us. I had to stop her!  I HAD TO STOP THE BLEED! . . . I only had minutes until my beloved old Max would be dead. It was imperative that I react quickly and take charge of the situation, but how? I had absolutely nothing to work with. No phone (it’s on the table back home). No med kit ( in my room back home) No help (as there are few folks in this valley and only about ten cars a day go up this roadway).

First things first . . . I jerked Raven free, pulled her across the road and tied her leash to a tree. Went back to where Max by now was laying quietly in the road and grabbed his foot and applied pressure with one hand while taking off my boot with the other . . . I ripped out the string, tore off my sock and made up a tourniquet by wrapping the sock around the leg at the point where I thought the artery was and tied it tight with the shoe string. The arterial bleeding slowed to a trickle. In my favor, (and his) Max was very good during all this.

Back across the street, I went for Raven who was by now totally wrapped around the tree and choking on her special choke collar. Seeing the uselessness of trying to get the leash free I pulled my knife and cut it leaving just enough for me to grab hold of. Once free I began running back to the cabin with Raven in tow. My goal was to run the half mile back get Raven in the pen, get the pickup and drive back to Max and get him to the vet.

Now I’m 75 years old, and believe it or not that is a huge liability when it comes to doing stuff like this. Regardless, heart attack be damned . . . I’M SAVING THIS DOG’S LIFE! So off I go trotting up the road when I heard a vehicle slam on it’s brakes and slide in the gravel behind me. . . SHIT!! . . . Someone just hit my dog!

Looking back, I saw the red pickup of my neighbor who lives up the street coming towards me. Mike stopped, “What the hell’s going on? You need help?”

Yes! . . .Go back and get Max! . . . I need to get this damn dog (Raven ) into a pen and Max to the vet . . . she’s bleeding out if I don’t!

“OK . . . . take it easy man, your gonna have a heart attack, slow down! I’ll get Max and be right back.

Zoom . . . off he goes . . . Zoom . . . off I go. Just as I got to the house Mike pulled in with Max sitting in the bed of his truck. I gave him a hero’s welcome and a thousand thank you’s as I dove into the house, awaken my wife to call the vet, grabbed my med kit, fixed Max up proper by exchanging the sock for a pressure bandage, got him into my truck blood and all, (something good can be said about old pickups) and headed to the vet’s office.

The vet got squirted in the face and arm, but found and stitched the cut artery in time to save Max. Now he has a custom pen on my front porch where I feed him and doctor him until he gets better.

Moral of the story . . . you never know when a disaster will hit. Carry a med kit! I have enough first aid stuff for a whole platoon and yet when I needed it, it was tucked away in my bedroom and I had to rely on a dirty sock and a shoelace. You don’t need a large cumbersome pack, either. I’d suggest making your own and putting stuff in it that actually come in handy, a lot of junk you’ll never use is sold off in the pre-packaged kits. Maybe later on I will post a good small kit for a day hike or a chain sawing accident, etc. . . . . . . JW