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Verse Fifteen


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007

Verse Fifteen

from Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.
Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

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Do you think Seers can be described using terms like these?


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007

Watchful and alert? Yes, the essence of Seeing.

Yielding? Yes, there's nothing here to do anything but yield.

Simple? The ultimate simplicity.

Courteous? I would take that as a sign that seeing is real. The Seer doesn't need to push his/her vision but loves to share it.

Hollow? Empty and void? What else? Look in.

Opaque? That too. Look out.

Need to seek fulfillment? Why? No need to seek what you always are.

Subtle, mysterious, profound? Look in again.

Responsive. Look out again.

Well, those are the words used. I can find no errors in them.

Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2007

I enjoyed your take on this Jim.

The line " Who can wait quietly while the mud settles ? " does sound like sitting meditation.

Maybe as seer's we could say when strong emotions take you down steam of clear seeing can you wait and not react from that place.

Pointing a finger
or noticing how many eye's your looking out of or
that your "space to face" might be enough for some mud to settle.

Maybe " Who can wait quietly while the mud settles" could also be
" Who can Trust Seeing quietly while the mud settles "

All the best for 2008 Jim

regards
Steve


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2007

Who can Trust Seeing quietly while the mud settles?

Hi Steve,

Yes, I know Douglas thought seeing was especially necessary when events are muddied. Your question puts it perfectly. See and see what happens and trust that the natural course will settle and clarify. I like that this verse acknowledges that events don't always go smoothly or jibe with our preconceptions and preferences. There's a real honesty about it. And there's hope and reassurance too. I suppose we've all had experiences where a crisis brought some unexpected benefit.

Happy 2008 to you too,
Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007

" See And See What Happens "

Now there's a good slogan for a T- shirt !

Steve


From: Luc
Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007

jimclatfelter wrote:
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

I discover more and more for myself that there is indeed no desire for change. Why should I have such desire, if Seeing shows me that change is the true nature of life ? What can I desire or wish for, that is better than what is being given to me constantly ?
Of course thoughts of desire pass my mind. But when I look deeply, when I look two-ways, these thoughts are not important.

Luc


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