Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Chuang Tzu on Tao

The man in whom Tao acts without impediment harms no other being by his actions yet he does not know himself to be "kind", to be "gentle". . . . (He) does not bother with his own interests and does not despise others who do. He does not struggle to make money and does not make a virtue of poverty. He goes his way without relying on others and does not pride himself on walking alone. While he does not follow the crowd he won't complain of those who do. Rank and reward make no appeal to him; disgrace and shame do not deter him. He is not always looking for right and wrong, always deciding "Yes" or "No." The ancients said, therefore: The man of Tao remains unknown. Perfect virtue produces nothing. "No-Self" is "True-Self". And the greatest man is Nobody. - Chuang Tzu

The true men of old were not afraid when they stood alone in their views. No great exploits. No plans. If they failed, no sorrow. No self-congratulation in success. . . . The true men of old knew no lust for life, no dread of death. Their entrance was without gladness, their exit, yonder, without resistance. Easy come, easy go. They did not forget where from, nor ask where to, nor drive grimly forward fighting their way through life. They took life as it came, gladly; took death as it came, without care; and went away, yonder. Yonder! They had no mind to fight Tao. They did not try by their own contriving, to help Tao along. These are the ones we call true men. Minds free, thoughts gone. Brows clear, faces serene. - Chuang Tzu

When we look at things in the light of Tao, nothing is best, nothing is worst. Each thing, seen in its own light stands out in its own way. It can seem to be "better" than what is compared with it on its own terms. But seen in terms of the whole, no one thing stands out as "better" ... All creatures have gifts of their own... All things have varying capacities. Consequently he who wants to have right without wrong, order without disorder, does not understand the principles of heaven and earth. He does not know how things hang together. - Chuang Tzu

Tao is obscured when men understand only one pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay, affirming this one aspect and denying all the rest. The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right relationship... Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct intuition. - Chuang Tzu
The mind remains undetermined in the great Void. Here the highest knowledge is unbounded. That which gives things their thusness cannot be delimited by things. So when we speak of 'limits', we remain confined to limited things. The limit of the unlimited is called 'fullness.' The limitlessness of the limited is called 'emptiness.' Tao is the source of both. But it is itself neither fullness nor emptiness. - Chuang Tzu

To regard the fundamental as the essence, to regard things as coarse, to regard accumulation as deficiency, and to dwell quietly alone with the spiritual and the intelligent - herein lie the techniques of Tao of the ancients. - Chuang Tzu

Tao is a name that indicates without defining. Tao is beyond words and beyond things. It is not expressed either in word or in silence. Where there is no longer word or silence Tao is apprehended. - Chuang Tzu

When there is no more separation between 'this' and 'that,' it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things. - Chuang Tzu

To exercise no-thought and rest in nothing is the first step toward resting in Tao. To start from nowhere and follow no road is the first step toward attaining Tao. - Chuang Tzu

Tao is beyond words and beyond things. It is not expressed either in word or in silence. Where there is no longer word or silence Tao is apprehended. - Chuang Tzu

When one is at ease with himself, one is near Tao. This is to let Nature take its own course. - Chuang Tzu

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