Dao De Jing
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Verse Sixty Six


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009

Verse Sixty Six
Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English, 1972

Why is the sea king of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them.
Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams.
If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
If he would lead them, he must follow behind.
In this way when the sage rules, the people will not feel oppressed;
When he stands before them, they will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him and will not tire of him.

Because he does not compete,
He does not meet competition.

Verse Sixty Six
Witter Bynner, 1944

Why are rivers and seas lords of the waters?
Because they afford the common level
And so become lords of the waters.
The common people love a sound man
Because he does not talk above their level,
Because, though he lead them,
He follows them,
He imposes no weight on them;
And they in turn, because he does not impede them,
Yield to him, content:
People never tire of anyone
Who is not bent upon comparison.

Verse Sixty Six
Herrymon Maurer, 1985

Rivers and seas become the kings of the valleys
Because they lie lower:
That is why they become kings.
Hence the sage,
Wishing to be higher than the people,
Keeps his speech lower;
Wishing to lead the people,
Puts himself behind them.
For the sage
Stays above the people,
But they don't feel weight;
Stays in front,
But they don't feel hurt.
Thus, beneath-heaven
Gladly upholds him
And does not weary of him.
Because he does not compete,
Nobody beneath heaven can compete with him.


From: simon
Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009

the Headless Valley Experience...

The last lines, each with their individual slant, sum up headless society (or headlessness in society, if you prefer) nicely for me:
Quote:
Because he does not compete,
He does not meet competition

Quote:
People never tire of anyone
Who is not bent upon comparison.

Quote:
Because he does not compete,
Nobody beneath heaven can compete with him.

Although I might take issue with the "him"
Headless, is there an individual - male or female - opposite the seen?
Ah!


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009

Hi Simon,

I like those last lines too.

1. They talk about the Taoist rule of reversal again. There's a Headless rule of reversal too, isn't there? We reverse the "arrow of attention" to see the Center of our being, the Tao itself.

Reminds me of the finger pointing experiment.

When we do this we can't confront or contend or compete. We complete instead of compete. We become whole and inclusive instead of projected and exclusive. We reverse attention. With that we also reverse what we consider important. We reverse expectations too. We don't look for opportunities to compete. We don't consider others to be opponents. So they don't consider us as opponents either.

I like the first lines too.

2. I like that the verse begins with the symbol of water again. Water seeks low places (below the bottom line) and is thereby exalted. The oceans are exhalted over the rivers and streams. Oceans symbolize vastness and formlessness, the headless space. Streams symbolize individuality, limited third personhood, personal space.

Reminds me of bowing before the evidence and spotting the bottom line.
Jim


From: simon
Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2009

That is an interesting point, the "rule of reversal"... Gurdjieff spoke of the 'law of opposites' and both terms seem just.

What really confirms the validity of Seeing (for me, anyway) is the fact that it neutralises conflict - as you so neatly put it
Quote:
We complete instead of compete

I hadn't made the connection between water and "the bottom line", at least in those words, but it stands well.
No 'personal' effort, just Being...
Finally, humility is not only all that counts, it is simply all there is...
You say
Quote:
Oceans symbolize vastness and formlessness, the headless space. Streams symbolize individuality, limited third personhood, personal space.

Quite so, and all streams - sooner or later - reach the ocean...
I think all children love playing with water because it can't be broken...


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009

Hi Simon,

The headless reversal can be expressed as the reversal from me to I, 3rd person to 1st. You said the "question was the quality of acts / actions." I think you were referring to this reversal€from actions that come from the me to those that come from the I. It's a world-shifting reversal (revolution?)€from competition to compassion.

Jim


From: simon
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009

Ha!
Well, yes, Jim, I was...
But then I wondered if it was relevent to this thread.
The switch or turn from "me" to the never sleeping and unlimited "I" (never subject to compulsion) introduces another quality in action.
I like the formula
Quote:
from competition to compassion

Miraculous, awe-inspiring, world-changing and totally normal-close-to-home and effortless at the same time... Bowing to the evidence (that is always here, by definition!) is all that is required.
And yet, absent (so to speak) from the scene is not denial, more the only way to bring paradise here on earth.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009

Hi Simon,

"I like the formula
Quote:
from competition to compassion"

I'm glad you called it a formula. For me it always comes down to something very, very simple -- a formula, an equation, a polarity, an opposition, the two sides of the Tube.

The two sides have many names in headless seeing and in the Tao Te Ching. Tao and Te, wu and wei, yin and yang. The near side and the far side. First person and third person. I and me.

The Taoist "rule of reversal" is a reversal of attention and interest, importance and expectation. So is the headless reversal of the arrow of attention. We attend more to the near realm of compassion than to the far realm of competition. We know both realms are necessary, but we find more interest in, and assign more importance to, the first person realm of compassion.

Jim


Headless on Youtube
Click here for workshops with Richard Lang
Click here for details on the American Gathering


Click here for information on online hangouts
Click here fora free e-course
The Youniverse Explorer is now available
Click here for our online shop
Click here to get the free Headless iPhone app
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