ice water

XV

Courteous like a house guest,
Whole as uncarved wood,
Open as a valley.
Careful, alert,
Fluid like running ice-water.

Murky – the disturbed puddle,
Remaining still, settling.
The water clears all by itself.
Still, until the right action, happens
With no thought.

The old sages:
Profound, wise beyond understanding,
They knew subtlety and discernment,
Not seeking fulfilment.
What is full is not useful.
Being empty, they felt complete.

the tao

Quiet. A week busy with other things, but back now I hope.

Want to take a moment to mention JH McDonald. The recent series of posts tagged The Way is inspired by an interest in Eastern Philosophy, and in particular the Tao Te Ching. It is not a translation (I’m not qualified) but a derivative. Contemplation – or perhaps feeling – is as much a source as anything. But it owes an undeniable debt to McDonald’s open source translation of Lao Tzu – some passages more than others – but certainly throughout.

no origin

XIV

Look and it can’t be seen,
Listen and it can’t be heard,
Grasp and it can’t be caught.

Its peak is not bright (unending)
Its depths are not dark (unnamed)
It returns to nothing.

Approach and find no origin,
Follow and find no end.

To know it,
To follow it,
Is the beginning of wisdom.

immune

XIII

Beware the facade of status.
In truth, we are all higher
And lower than others.

With no sense of success,
We are immune to failure.
With no no sense of self,
We have no enemies.

When we love the world
As a treasured possession,
Then we care for all things.