Dao De Jing
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Verse Fifty One


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008

Verse Fifty One
Witter Bynner, 1944

Existence having born them
And fitness bred them,
While matter varied their forms
And breath empowered them,
All created things render, to the existence and fitness they depend on,
An obedience
Not commanded but of course.
And since this is the way existence bears issue
And fitness raises, attends,
Shelters, feeds and protects,
Do you likewise
Be parent, not possessor,
Attendant, not master,
Be concerned not with obedience but with benefit,
And you are at the core of living.

Verse Fifty One
Stephen Mitchell, 1988

Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.
That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.

Verse Fifty One
Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

All things arise from Tao.
They are nourished by Virtue.
They are formed from matter.
They are shaped by environment.
Thus the ten thousand things all respect Tao and honor Virtue.
Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue are not demanded,
But they are in the nature of things.
Therefore all things arise from Tao.
By Virtue they are nourished,
Developed, cared for,
Sheltered, comforted,
Grown, and protected.
Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
This is Primal Virtue.


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008

I'm not sure what the link with Headlessness is,
except maybe All just flows out from the Source / Beingness ,
but the lines

Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
or
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.

really appeal.

I remember years ago, in a cartoon book, about life in a Zen monastery, a picture about hidden virtue or secret acts of kindness.

That is a different area but still has the flavour of acting for the act not the reward or just acting.

You can also read into it aspects of Douglas's personality. guiding without interfering

A very subtle and inspiring verse.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008

This verse reminds me of the contrast between the Western God and the Tao. One demands respect. The other is respected naturally and spontaneously.

"...love of the Tao is in the very nature of things."

"...concerned not with obedience but with benefit."

It seems to me that Seeing is like this too. The emptiness here makes no demands that we notice it, but it rewards us greatly when we do. It is the place of peace, freedom, and satisfaction.

Western religion is so strenuous and self-centered with its concepts of sin, obedience, free will, obedience, punishment and salvation. All of that is refreshingly absent In these verses. It's absent in first-person Seeing as well. Find your center--find your truth and satisfation. Enough.

Jim


From: simon
Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008

Yes, an inspiring verse.
Quote:
Be parent, not possessor,
Attendant, not master,

This is nice description of the "Tree of Life" experiment, well, of all the experiments perhaps.

I enjoy the
Quote:
Existence having born them
And fitness bred them,
While matter varied their forms
And breath empowered them,
All created things render, to the existence and fitness they depend on,
An obedience
Not commanded but of course.

Unforced, unasked for, simply "how it is"

While not after any confrontation, there are many aspects and sayings in the Christian tradition that I find to be "quite so"... I'm not sure that Jesus or Yeshua would be in accord with what happens under his name today...
But the facts remain: you say, Jim,

Quote: It is the place of peace, freedom, and satisfaction.

Like that here too, the Kingdom of Heaven - perfect clarity - is within.

Love to All
Simon


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008

Hi Simon,

I agree there many great sayings from the Christian tradition - and other Western traditions. It would make a good topic of discussion for this forum.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.

This reminds me of the Tree of Life too. I like the image of Tao as the Root that nourishes each of us (branches and leaves on the tree). The Root exists along with the trunk and branches and leaves. It doesn't come before them. It nourishes, but it doesn't direct. It supports, but it doesn't interfere in the life of the tree. That is why "love of the Tao (Root) is in the very nature of things."

It's just a personal preference, but I like the word Root better than Source. I know Douglas used both words. Root implies a simultaneous presence with the rest of the tree, an invisible presence. The view of the Root in the Tree of Life is like that. It's a nourishing presence we can call upon at any time, and it never fails us.

Love,
Jim


From: Steve Palmer
Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008

With Simons remarks in mind,
about not wanting to invite confrontation, but discussion ,
wanted to say that since meeting Douglas and reading his books feel more draw to The Christian Mystic's .

I keep reading sections of Jean-Pierre de Caussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence ( also translated as The Joy Of Full Surrender by Hal Helms ) because Douglas recommended it so highly.

It may not be an easy read but I " think" it pointed to surrender to the Root , Source or God for Douglas.
Beyond the little guy.
Who can get us all into so much trouble......!
It points to Trusting, That beyond the opposites, which the Tao in beautiful poetic language also does.

Douglas's liking for Meister Eckhart also pointed me in that direction.

Eckhart born in 1260 , not to be confused with modern Eckhart, is a difficult read but you do feel that these mystic's had far transcended the narrow dogmatic divisive Christianity you meet and see.

Ursula Fleming's book The Man From Whom God Hid Nothing is the best introduction I've found.There is another introductory book also with that same title.

At 19 years old I gave up my cultural Christian identity for Buddhism, after reading a Christmas Humphrey's book, which lead on to reading Douglas in The Middle Way an English Buddhist journal and other adventures.

Now I feel truth, the don't know mind, the mystery or common sense is just where you find it.
Douglas pointing to all Mystics of all traditions was helpful.

Western religion is so strenuous and self-centered with its concepts of sin, obedience, free will, obedience, punishment and salvation. All of that is refreshingly absent In these verses. It's absent in first-person Seeing as well. Find your center--find your truth and satisfation. Enough.

Beautifully clear but I wouldn't want now to throw out all my cultural Christian heritage because a lot of it has been horrendous in the past and is dogmatic in many present interpretation.

" Any road Home is a good road " to quote Douglas

One things for sure it's nice to share the journey Home with friends.

In the shared space.

Steve


From: simon
Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008

Dear All,
Yes to everything!
After due reflection, the wood "rrot" really is very 'nice' (meaning precise); especially in the light of the "tree of life" experiment, and the utter humility rather than any 'feeling of superiority' that MIGHT be associated with the word "source".

Perhaps, Jim, we of the (dare I say!) English tradition have a privileged view of Christianity, which appears less dogmatic than fundamentalist versions elsewhere - leaving more space ; so to speak.

Quote: " Any road Home is a good road "

Quite so!
The shorter the better!
Great thread, great discussion, thank you all!
Simon


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