Dao De Jing
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Verse Twenty Seven


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008

Verse Twenty Seven
Arthur Waley, 1934

Perfect activity leaves no track behind it;
Perfect speech is like a jade-worker whose tool leaves no mark.
The perfect reckoner needs no counting-slips;
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.
The perfect knot needs neither rope nor twine,
Yet cannot be united.
Therefore the Sage
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping men,
He certainly does not turn his back on men;
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping creatures,
He certainly does not turn his back on creatures.
This is called resorting to the Light.
Truly, €the perfect man is the teacher of the imperfect;
But the imperfect is the stock-in-trade of the perfect man€.
He who does not respect his teacher,
He who does not take care of his stock-in-trade,
Much learning through he may possess, is far astray.
This is the essential secret.

Verse Twenty Seven
Walter Gorn-Old, 1904

A good walker makes no dust after him.
The good speaker incurs no discussion.
The good reckoner needs no arithmetic.
The good keeper needs no bolts or bars, and none can open after him.
The wise man is constant and a good helper of his fellows. He rejects none.
He is a continual good preserver of things. He disdains nothing.
His intelligence is all-embracing.
Good men instruct one another; and bad men are the material they delve in.
Whoever, therefore, does not honour his teacher and cherish his material, though he be called wise, is yet in a state of delusion.
This is no less important than strange.


From: Simon
Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008

I love this verse, has always been one of my favourites (for all THAT is worth! )
Great simplicity, quite objective and impartial, yet carrying love... just like seeing, really!

The "not turning his/her back..." reminds me of the "Turning the world" experiment... not in detail but in the feeling it gives of not having a front or a behind: all embracing is awareness.
Only had the Jane English 'A good walker leaves no tracks..." version.
Greatly enjoy the slant these two give: the "caring for his stock in trade" is very non-judge-mental ...
and the last line has a nice perfume of mystery to it
Quote:This is no less important than strange.

What a lovely way of putting it!

Best to all
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008

The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.

Hi Simon,

This saying puzzles me as it relates to Seeing. I think of the door (or window) as always being open.

I do like the "leave no tracks" you mention. Sharing Seeing is really quite anonymous. No one takes credit (leaves tracks). It's just the natural way of Seeing once it's pointed out.

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008

jimclatfelter wrote:
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.

hi simon and jim,

i really had nothing to add to this verse. but, simon, i like your description in your post. just because of your expressive joy and delight that always come through. i just love that.

jim, i don't know for sure on the phrase you have quoted (above) but, it seems to me that what is being given in the phrase is Presence. ...neither bolt or bar.... it cannot be opened....it just IS. its always Here, just awareness/recognition is all. even if no awareness/recognition....its still Here. its the 'perfect' door, because there is none. it cannot be opened because its open-ness Itself.

what do you think?

love,
janet


From: simon
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008

Hi All,

Jim, you mentioned:
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.

Lovely puzzle, isn't it?
This links (for me) with the impossibility of defining the "Tao"... there is no real obstacle - after all, one can define anything - um, well, that's perhaps it: the Tao or 'what sees' is not a thing, is it!
Sometimes reading or studying this work, the joy comes from the direction it points to, rather than an "understanding"...
As we all know!
Janet, your paragraph on "Presence" rings true here too. While not wanting to limit it , I wonder if others recognise this under the label of "gateless gate"?
Either way, a simple turning of the attention...

Words, words! How much tastier is the soup than the cookbook!

Bon appetit!
simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008

Hello Simon and Janet,

I was taking this verse a little too literally. Sometimes one has to just go with the spirit of what's being said. It rings true. As you say, Simon, "the joy comes from the direction it points to, rather than an understanding." And as you say, Janet, "it cannot be opened because its open-ness Itself." Yes, Presence is the perfect door (or window), and "recognition is all." "Gateless gate" sounds right to me, Simon.

Love,
Jim


From: Luc
Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008

Hi all,

jimclatfelter wrote:
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.

This beautiful phrase - I very much like this verse because of the first part - is linked to a saying from the I Jing : (I don(t quote literally !)
What is not yours, you can't keep, not even locked away. It will be stolen.
What is really yours cannot be stolen. Even if you give it away, it will return.

The perfect door is closed, not because of the bolts and bars, but because it is right for it to be closed.

It links to what Douglas called the three ways of the will :
- what I (as this little guy) think I want
- what I really want
- what is.
If the door protects what is, it needs no bolts and bars. If it protects what I want or what I think I want, it can't be kept closed.

Just realise another aspect of this : if I try sharing this Seeing with someone who is not open to it, the door is closed and no matter how hard I try, I can't open it. If I share Seeing with someone who is ready for it, the understanding will be immediate and complete, even if my explanation is clumsy or unclear. The door is open ...

Luc


From: Janet
Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008

Luc wrote:
If the door protects what is, it needs no bolts and bars. If it protects what I want or what I think I want, it can't be kept closed.

Just realise another aspect of this : if I try sharing this Seeing with someone who is not open to it, the door is closed and no matter how hard I try, I can't open it. If I share Seeing with someone who is ready for it, the understanding will be immediate and complete, even if my explanation is clumsy or unclear. The door is open ...Luc

hi luc,

the interpretation makes sense! interesting...

sometimes, it seems like a big puzzle. ....continually wracking the brain for the right piece, then suddenly you realize it was right under your nose!

while looking at your post and putting this puzzle together, i notice you joined the forum on my birthday a couple of years ago. happy birthday!

thanks for your imput.

love,
janet


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