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Verse Three


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2007

Verse Three

from Ron Hogan, 2000

If you toss compliments around freely,
people will waste your time
trying to impress you.
If you give things too much value,
you're going to get ripped off.
If you try to please people,
you'll just make them pissed.

The Master leads
by clearing the crap
out of people's heads
and opening their hearts.
He lowers their aspirations
and makes them suck in their guts.

He shows you how to forget
what you know and what you want,
so nobody can push you around.
If you think you've got the answers,
he'll mess with your head.

Stop doing stuff all the time,
and watch what happens.

Verse Three

from Herrymon Maurer's The Way of the Ways, 1985

Don't exalt the worthy:
People then will not compete.
Don't prize rare goods:
People then will not steal.
Don't show what is covetable:
The people's hearts won't be upset.
Thus, when the sage rules,
He empties hearts
And fills bellies,
Weakens ambitions
And strengthens bones.
He leads the people
To not-know and not-want,
And the cunning ones dare not do.
By doing nothing-doing, everything is set in order.

Jim Clatfelter


From: Janet
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007

hi everyone,

in verse three, the message, to me, is being content. content with what is, as it is. no striving or seeking anything more than what is. its *Being* -undisturbed and uninfluenced.

thank you.

love,
janet


From: headexchange
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007

I much prefer Maurer's version to Hogan's!

It's all about returning to the Source!

Richard


From: Janet
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007

hi richard,

isn't every verse really about returning to the source? i mean, whats the discussion for then?

does each verse have a particular message to say? or not?

thank you.
love,
janet

btw, i have wayne dyers interpretations because i thought thats what the discussion was going to be based on.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007

I prefer Maurer's version too. His version of the verses is one of my favorites. I'm not sure why Hogan puts it all in such vulgar language. Maybe he thinks he'll reach people who wouldn't go for more serious language, though I can't say he's not serious about his purpose.

I do like this line from Hogan:

The Master leads
by clearing the crap
out of people's heads
and opening their hearts.

We could say:

The Seer leads
by clearing the nonsense
out of people's heads
and opening their hearts.

Since the head for the first person is a nonsense, I think he does touch on what Seers have to share with others. The Seer clears heads (completely) when he shares the experiments. And clearing the head is the same as opening the heart, the center. Heart replaces head at center.

Verse Two talked about wu wei, actionless activity, to use Wayley's words. Verse Three talks about wei wu wei, a phrase used in many of the verses. This could be translated as doing actionless activity. Maurer translates it as doing nothing-doing. Either way, it seems to me, the words represent the practice of two-way Seeing, which I take to be seeing the place of nothing and the place of doings at the same time, which is always now. Douglas said that in the Headless Way we have only one thing to do. The experiments all do the same thing. They bring us home to the place of no action and no thing. I think Lao Tzu is doing the same thing. He is offering us wei wu wei as a single practice, by which, according to Maurer, everything is set in order. Isn't that just what Seeing does? It sets everything in order, everything being the sum of everything and nothing.

You've all said that the Tao Te Ching is about a way of living and about directing us back home. What do you make of phrases such as when the Sage rules and he leads the people?

Jim Clatfelter


From: Jerry
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007

I assume the Tao Te Ching was written not only as a manual for the individual but also for society. A large portion of the poem consists of advice to the sage / ruler on how the people should be governed.

Lao Tzu sees ideals of excellence and wealth in society as being harmful because they lead to envy, strife and crime. Government should be simplified as much as possible, much as one€s personal life should be. See to it that the body is taken care of, belly filled and bones strengthened, but keep the mind empty. Knowledge and understanding cause more trouble than they help. Over-intellectualisation leads to ambition and craving.

The antidote to this, as you've pointed out, is wu wei (and wei wu wei).
Not an easy concept! It is often used in the sense of €refrain from effort or will€. The hub of a wheel can serve as an analogy € the wheel moves because the hub is still.

Lao Tzu€s political stance is quite problematical. What is the difference between his wu wei and the politics of laissez faire? Not much, it might seem. One can also see a heritage of this distrust of knowledge and return to simplicity with horrifying results during the cultural revolution and in Pol Pot's Cambodja.

The focus on simplicity, naturalness, balance is really not the problem. What is problematical is the question of power € how are these ideals to be realised if non-action is the only method allowed?

Of course all philosophies can be vulgarised, Pol Pot Chairman Mao being prime examples. When Lao Tzu uses the term wu wei, what is he actually saying?

Using the wheel analogy, it is the hub€s location at the centre, and its stillness in relation to the rest of the wheel, that constitutes its function, making it able to €rule without doing anything€.

Another metaphor is the jug, whose €emptiness€ provides its function. Or the sail that fills with wind, propelling the boat. The laws of nature are being passively employed to reach an ideal result. By understanding the tao, the master uses its dynamics to reach a better solution than is possible by using raw force.

So the Tao Te Ching proposes the direct opposite of power politics. It also differs from laissez faire in that the ruler should not abdicate, or advocate that "anything goes". He should actively practise stillness and flow so that the natural order can run its course.


From: Janet
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007

Jerry wrote: Lao Tzu sees ideals of excellence and wealth in society as being harmful because they lead to envy, strife and crime. Government should be simplified as much as possible, much as one€s personal life should be. See to it that the body is taken care of, belly filled and bones strengthened, but keep the mind empty.

hi jerry,

i enjoyed your analogy very much. it made sense.

the thing about excellence and wealth from what i read, is when its overboard.... more than necessary. when the needs are taken care of, it is enough. thats where i found 'contentment' in the message. governments and individuals both care 'for a body'. the individual, its obvious. the government's body is the broader scope. its people and infrastructure. when both the individual and community are strengthened, everything runs like its 'well oiled', so to speak.

the breakdown seems to appear when individuals and government seek excess beyond needs. then, there is a lack somewhere. envy, strife, crime may fill the lack.

thank you for your message.

love,
janet


From: Luc
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007

jimclatfelter wrote: You've all said that the Tao Te Ching is about a way of living and about directing us back home. What do you make of phrases such as when the Sage rules and he leads the people?

Seeing might be considered as having no activity in the world. So it cannot lead to ruling or leading people.
But if I stick to my two-way attention, I can see the stories of the people I'm confronted with. And this seeing implies that I not only see my own side of the story, but also theirs. Somehow their confrontation with me will bring them closer to their own Headlessness. You could say I lead them, not into the conflict, anger, right/wrong discussion they were looking for, but in an open space, where they might get aware of their behaviour, their suffering.
I rule them not by laws and punishment, but by not resisting. And what force can last, when it is not resisted ? It will fade away and the pain and anger behind it will surface.
Can't really make it clear, I think. It's like Seeing : so simple and yet so hard to explain.

Luc


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007

I like what Hogan says about clearing people's heads and opening their hearts. It seems to me that these two are really the same. The cleared head is the open heart. Since one can only do this for oneself, I think the mechanism of passing this on to others is in question. One way is by sharing the way of Seeing in workshops, with friends, or in a forum like this one. In another sense, I think Lao Tzu is saying that Seeing or wu wei can be infectious. The quote below is from Holmes Welch, page 22 of his 1957 book called Taoism, The Parting of the Way.

Quote: Lao Tzu recognized that we intuitively sense one another's feelings, and that my attitude, rather than my acts, is the determining factor in your attitude and your acts.

I don't know what leaders or governments today practice wu wei, which Holmes Welch defines as not contending. I think of Douglas calling it not confronting, not being face to face, not being in a position to face off an opponent.

We are all leaders in some ways in our lives. We have people who depend on us. We all know people who seem to value our opinions. I take it that in that sense we can all spread the values of wu wei by clearing our heads and opening our hearts and, therefore, not contending or confronting.

Jim Clatfelter


From: Jerry
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007

Thanks for your interesting comments. I must confess, there are parts of Lao Tzu that worry me, like a loose tooth. So it's helpful to hear different opinions.

I guess one always feels uncomfortable when the question of power comes up. I'm not too clear about Douglas' stance on this, but Lao Tzu I think is definitely interested in the dynamics of power, both for the individual and society.

Does he mean that authority should be exercised by silent example?
But isn't there something more - that the laws of nature, the forces in nature, should be aligned with human activity? And by this he means: avoid chit-chat and sentiment, no phrase-making, no materialism, no noise? What does this return to simplicity actually entail?

My point is, it's not all peace, love and understanding. There is something inscrutable and indifferent about the tao, something one meets again and again in the verses to come.

In relation to Seeing, my own experience is that the experiments function as koans, and the practice as heightened awareness. Very subjective. Doing it, or rather, allowing it, transforms the moments of my daily life into something fresh and alive and energized. Certainly a force of some sort.

Perhaps in this sense it can be seen as something that can work within society, through individual experience?


From: Janet
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007

hi everyone,

luc, i think your right in what is quoted above, but there are leaders and people being lead anyway. its just the way it is.

jerry, i agree, its not all peace, love, and understanding. but i interpret the tao in the third verse for individual and society. from your point of view, you recognise Seeing. maybe that is not yet with society or leaders. third verse tells me to continue Seeing which includes allowing for whatever is. you share Seeing, you live out of Seeing, etc. no force in having the rest conform. you are space for everyone, and all kinds of weather to pass, including the storms that appear in society. no need to resist. presence rests here, looking out at the changing world.

i like a story i came across one time. its about a king that wanted to have the best painting depicting peace. he announced he would pay in gold for any artist in the kingdom that won the contest of the best painting. all kinds of paintings arrived at the palace. the king narrowed his choices down to two. one was a sunny day painting that picture perfect indeed. the other was a stormy weather painting. after much consideration, the king picked the stormy weather painting. it was dark, dreary, and scary, with bright streaks of lightening streaming thru the painting. but, underneath a rock ledge in the painting, sat a mother bird in a nest with her wings surrounding and protecting her babies. the mother bird looking out (but appeared peaceful), and just waiting for the storm to pass.....

so, to me, there are moments when there is something that can be done, sometimes just sit, with peace.

yes, jim, open hearts.... i like that.

thank you.
love,
janet


From: brian
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007

How do you put the genie back in the bottle?

From what I've heard, Lao Tzu was disgusted with the affairs of man, and rode off into the desert to die peacefully and alone. A man convinced him to write a final Gatha before he died, and that is how the Tao Te Ching was written. Can anyone confirm this?

I wonder how Lao Tzu suggests mankind put the genie back in the bottle? Human nature consists of both good and evil. It's the cost of becoming human and joining the club. As far as I can tell, there is no SELF realization without the fall from grace, is there?

I believe Lao Tzu's words apply to us individually - one person at a time. We can only be accountable for our intentions, our words, and our deeds. I do not believe we are meant to sit in judgement of man's affairs, but rather to understand human nature, and see the beauty and dignity of the human experience. The struggle and the story of mankind is beautiful. In my view, it's how the Tao awakens to ItSELF - via the opposing forces of yin and yang.

I wonder if Lao Tzu felt self-consciousness was a mistake? If so, why did it happen in man? Is there a purpose to individuation and diversity amidst the Unity of the Tao?

Just some thoughts about verse 3...

Love,
Brian


From: Janet
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007

hi brian,

why would i want to put the genie back in the bottle? very confining. why not let it all hang out?

love,
janet


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007

Hello Brian,

Quote: From what I've heard, Lao Tzu was disgusted with the affairs of man, and rode off into the desert to die peacefully and alone. A man convinced him to write a final Gatha before he died, and that is how the Tao Te Ching was written. Can anyone confirm this?

Yes, this is the legend of how the Tao Te Ching was written. It'a a beautiful and fitting story, but we don't need to take it as literal truth these days. Lao Tzu himself is probably a legend too, a very convenient one though. Some people think the book came to be written by a community of people. That seems quite likely to me, but we will never know for certain. Lao Tzu, to me, is the personification of the author or authors of the Tao Te Ching. I say Lao Tzu said this or that because it is convenient and traditional.

Jim Clatfelter


From: bdbdg
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007

Brain, what do you mean with 'As far as I can tell, there is no SELF realization without the fall from grace, is there?'

Thank you,
Danielle


From: brian
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007

Hi Danielle-

You asked....

Brain, what do you mean with 'As far as I can tell, there is no SELF realization without the fall from grace, is there?'

Thank you,
Danielle

What I mean is that no one talked of God, their True Nature, etc. until man become a self-conscious animal, and we began to imagine ourselves to be the image we saw in the mirror and the view others had of us from the outside looking in. This is the 'fall from grace' I'm referring to.

I have 2 boys and a baby girl at home. She is a little more than 3 months old now. She has not formed a 'self identity' yet. If I place her before a mirror, she does not take the image to be who she is for herself YET. This takes time. We name our children, and then we call them out of their pristine state of undifferentiated awareness so they can BECOME human, individuated and self-aware.

This usually occurs around age 2-4. In fact, most people's earliest childhood memories start around age 3 or 4. My theory (though I cannot prove this) is that we have no earlier memory since there was no egoic "I, my, me, mine" or localized sense of 'self' developed before that age.

I think the advent and development of self-consciousness in mankind is what gives rise to the capacity for SELF Awareness, or being able to look within and "SEE" who you really are.

Animals do not have this capacity as far I can tell, though some species do seems to display levels of self-reflection and self consciousness.

But, I'm guessing Douglas never had a dog do the tube experiment or point a paw inward at his no face? And, I don't recall reading any philosophy or religious scripture written by apes;-)

That's why I consider it a great gift to be born human. Though self-consciousness (the fall from grace) involves both joy and suffering, I don't see how else mankind could have become awake to our True Nature, do you?

Hope this answers your question...

Love,
Brian


From: headexchange
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007

Self-consciousness - becoming aware of my appearance - was a wonderful invention by the One!

Richard


From: bdbdg
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007

Hi Brian,

Yes, I understand and agree with all that you have written. Thank you very much. And, yes, it is a completely awesome idea of the Ground of Being to come up with this Life (being born human) as a way to know Its Self (Self --> falling from Grace --> self --> Self-Realization). Before one knows that 'one is not' (that there is no 'one'), though, I'm not sure there are many 'ones' who would say life is a gift (the belief of separateness leading to suffering).

I am currently fascinated with the 'eyes of babes', knowing that they apperceive. When my 3-month old grandson smiles, I know it is not 'me' he smiles at, but something quite different, and what a joy that brings. It's addicting. I still struggle a bit with his impending (and inevitable) fall, but know in my heart, that it is perfect.

Thank you for your thoughts
Danielle


From: brian
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007

Hi Danielle-

I am currently fascinated with the 'eyes of babes', knowing that they apperceive. When my 3-month old grandson smiles, I know it is not 'me' he smiles at, but something quite different, and what a joy that brings. It's addicting. I still struggle a bit with his impending (and inevitable) fall, but know in my heart, that it is perfect.

Thank you for your thoughts
Danielle

You're welcome! In my view, the 'fall' is essential and beautiful. It allows for the One to experience (in a very real sense) being individual. One cannot be in relationship with ItSELF. Duality is necessary for experiencing a subject/object split so we can be in relationship with one another. For me, it generates a sense of awe and mystery. I cherish the diversity amidst the Unity, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Love to you,
Brian


From: janwbol
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

brian wrote:
Hi Danielle-

I am currently fascinated with the 'eyes of babes', knowing that they apperceive. When my 3-month old grandson smiles, I know it is not 'me' he smiles at, but something quite different, and what a joy that brings. It's addicting. I still struggle a bit with his impending (and inevitable) fall, but know in my heart, that it is perfect.

Thank you for your thoughts
Danielle

You're welcome! In my view, the 'fall' is essential and beautiful. It allows for the One to experience (in a very real sense) being individual. One cannot be in relationship with ItSELF. Duality is necessary for experiencing a subject/object split so we can be in relationship with one another. For me, it generates a sense of awe and mystery. I cherish the diversity amidst the Unity, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Love to you,
Brian


From: brian
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

Brian/Danielle,

Why do you talk about a 'fall'? Who falls? Fall from what? To what?

Best. JW

JW,

"God becomes man so that man might become God."

Best,
Brian


From: janwbol
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

brian wrote:
Brian/Danielle,

Why do you talk about a 'fall'? Who falls? Fall from what? To what?

Best. JW

JW,

"God becomes man so that man might become God."

Best,
Brian

Is this 'fall' necessary? And, isn't the Tao saying that there never was a fall, that there simply cannot be a separation?

I am not trying to be obtuse but I question the existence of this 'fall'.

Best. JW


From: Kwan Haeng
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

The last line of the Hogan version of verse 3 i liked a lot.

Something like; "Stop doing so much stuff all the time, and see what happens."

This means mentally also.


From: Janet
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

good point JW and chris.

the whole idea of a 'fall', is just an 'idea' to me. experiences come and go, and like all things, they are changing. i think the tao (and Seeing)shows where i am unlimited, and boundless, and also that things of the world are temporal and ever changing (and where ideas can appear as good/bad, well/fall).

love,
janet


From: bdbdg
Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007

I agree that the fall is an illusion, but from the point of view of a(n illusory) separate self - which is after all the place almost all of us live some part of our lives - it is not a fine thing, as it is full of suffering (because of the illusion of separateness), and it certainly feels like a fall! From the point of view of Seeing, there can be no fall, but instead a splendid adventure, if you will, in coming to know Its Self, using the world of dualism.


From: Dan Ananda
Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007

The "Fall" is simply Judeo-Christian dogma that people have been programmed to believe.

Dan


From: brian
Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007

Dan Ananda wrote: The "Fall" is simply Judeo-Christian dogma that people have been programmed to believe.

Dan-

The fall, in my view, is not a 'judeo-christian dogma' or 'belief', but rather a simple recognition that in order to become human, we temporarily forget who we are, and take on the identity of the headed person we see in the mirror which often has some stressful and painful side effects. Over time, we come to think of ourselves as limited to our individual body and mind. Though, this is not the Ultimate Truth, it's what most people believe, and it absolutely influences their thoughts, words and deeds, and sense of peace.

If there is no 'fall' (forgetting who you really are) and it's only dogma, then why do you suppose people seek their true nature, and what is the point of Seeing (consciously awakening to) who you really are using Douglas Harding's experiments?

Why would people like Douglas, Lao Tzu, Ramana, Nisargadatta, Jesus, and the Buddha waste their time sharing their teachings about our True Nature if there was no 'fall', and it's only dogma.

Have you ever tried telling a seeker or an addict that their suffering was unreal and in their mind only?

Though in the Absolute sense, this may be truthful, it's not skillful means, and doesn't alleviate the very real pain and suffering people experience.

Can you imagine a psychiatrist telling every patient that they were perfectly fine, and there's nothing to be depressed or anxious about since, in reality, there is no one Home centrally? Wouldn't that type of doctor be considered a quack?

-Brian


From: Janet
Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007

hi brian,

in your last post, well, there are a lot of ideas. i suppose you can make anything you want of it. i don't know.

well, lets say you do make a perception of 'fall'. now what? just keep going, i say...

anyway, in the next verse, i think you may find that anything you perceive tends to soften when recognising wholeness. its the whole picture, not just what we make of every bitty change perceived.

love,
janet


From: Jerry
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

The Fall. The Fall. The Fall.

Sounds€um, quite heavy. Things like sin and guilt and punishment spring to mind.

Without wanting to belittle suffering (the opposite, actually), one of the things I appreciate about the Tao Te Ching is that it completely lacks concepts central to many organised world religions € the Lord God, the Devil, Retribution, Hell, the Soul, and so on.

Lao Tzu's tao is not occult € for me, it is remarkably similar to our modern scientific concept of energy.


From: Janet
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

hi jerry,

i like your sound response. thank you!

love,
janet


From: brian
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Forgetting aka "falling"...

Hi Jerry-

What do you take this passage of the Tao to mean?

"When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.

When there is no peace within the family,
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear."

Love,
Brian

p.s. I'm sorry for jumping ahead, but I thought this passage was relevant to the discussion about 'the fall' (forgetting the Tao).


From: Janet
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

hi brian,

i think the passage you provide is a perfect example. to me, its examples of what arise out of tao forgotten. rather than living out of Wholeness/two-way Seeing/Tao, and living out of one direction only (that which appears), morality (idea of a fall) arises. its the sense of a 'wrong'.

please read the passage again, and see if it makes sense, now. read it without any pre-conceived deas. first, you can just focus on the first two lines. then, the rest just falls into place.

love,
janet


From: brian
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Janet-

That's exactly my point. A "fall" (forgetting the Whole) IS mentioned in the Tao Te Ching just as it is mentioned in theology. East and West have different ways of expressing the same thing. The *meaning* of language changes over time. For example, 'sin' from what I understand, originally meant 'to miss the mark' (ie. forgetting who you really are, and living from your peripheral image). 'Repent' originally meant 'to see anew' - to look with fresh eyes not only at what your looking AT, but what you're looking OUT OF.

In my view, there's no point in denying or glossing over the fact that most human beings believe they are what they look like in the mirror and for others. You cannot put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, by simply telling poeple who are suffering mentally and spiritually - oh, you're delusional, there never was a 'fall' (forgetting who you really are), that's in your mind only. Just point a finger inward and rest in the Tao.

That's not meeting someone where they are at, and seeing through their eyes. It's easy to belittle or disregard the pain and suffering of separation and the search after one's consciously SEES and lives from who they really are in their own direct experience.

But, I do not think awakening is only for one's personal bliss and satisfaction. We also have hands, feet, a mortal individual human body and mind to serve and lend a helping, compassionate and loving hand to our brothers and sisters in the 'view out' who are experiencing needless suffering because of identity confusion.

I don't see how denying the human condition helps another who is in pain. That's all I'm pointing out.

Love,
Brian


From: Jerry
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Hi Brian, not wanting to jump the gun, I'll keep this short. In the verse you quote (18), Lao Tzu is once again turning conventional wisdom on its head. He's saying that when people try and replace the laws of nature with human concepts (kindness, morality, wisdom, intelligence, family values and patriotism), that's when the trouble begins. See also my response to verse 5.

Jerry


From: brian
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Hi Jerry-

When man became a self-conscious animal, and took on a human identity, the Tao was temporarily forgotten, and conventional wisdom arose along with duality and a myriad of human concepts. I don't see this as a mistake. Every-thing, even forgetting, happens for a reason in my view, or it wouldn't happen;-)

The trouble has already begun, so what do you and Lao Tzu propose we do about it? Do we simply contemplate our One-ness while our brothers and sisters in the view out continue to suffer in ignorance of the Tao, or can we also serve the Tao (the Whole) through our mortal bodies and minds as well as being consciously awake to our True Indivisible Nature?

Love,
Brian


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Quote: The trouble has already begun, so what do you and Lao Tzu propose we do about it?

Hi Brian,

We will be discussing over a period of many weeks what Lao Tzu proposes. At the rate of one verse a week, this discussion will last about 20 months. I think we need to give Lao Tzu's words a chance to speak for themselves. I know our discussions will deepen my understanding of what he proposes. Maybe your question will be answered in the course of our discussions. As we progress through the verses, we should have a clearer vision of the Way he recommends. I'm not yet ready to say what the Way means to me. I expect the meanings I take from the text will change and sharpen as we share our views on each verse. These early verses are laying the foundation for his views of the human condition. We will all discover different meanings and value in the Way of Life this text shares with us. I think it's too early to answer your question. At least it is for me.

Jim

Jim Clatfelter


From: brian
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007

Hi Jim-

No problem. I'm sorry if I've jumped the gun. I'll wait, and see what unfolds in our discussion, though I hope it's ok to question the meaning and relevance of Lao Tzu's way and teachings in light of our individual experience of the world we live in.

Love,
Brian


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007

Quote: I hope it's ok to question the meaning and relevance of Lao Tzu's way and teachings in light of our individual experience of the world we live in.

Hi Brian,

Sure it's ok. We will all take different meanings from the text. And we will question some of what's being said. I don't think any of us think that "the sage is ruthless" as some translations of Verse Five have it. That's a harsh word that doesn't fit with the spirit of the book.

If you have questions or doubts about Verses Four and Five, please post them. Maybe you will see meanings to share with the rest of us. We've talked about four verses already. I certainly have a better understanding of them that I ever had before. Other people have shared words and definitions that just clicked with me, ones that I had never considered on my own.

I don't know how others are using this discussion. For me it's been great to have a whole week to keep just one verse in my mind and to try to see what it means to me and how it relates to headless seeing. My whole purpose is to question the meaning of the verses.

Love,
Jim

Jim Clatfelter


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