Tao Te Ching (Chapter 14, An Extract)

October 19, 2006 at 1:04 am 1 comment

Lao Tzu

Listen (to Viral read)

What we look for beyond seeing
And call the unseen,
Listen for beyond hearing
And call the unheard,
Grasp for beyond reaching
And call the witheld,
Merge beyond understanding
In a oneness
Which does not merely give rise and give light,
Does not merely set and leave darkness,
But forever sends forth a succession of living things as mysterious
As the unbegotten existence to which they return.
That is why men have called them empty phenomena,
Meaningless images,
In a mirage
With no face to meet,
No back to follow.
Yet one who is anciently aware of existence
Is master of every moment,
Feels no break since beyond time
In the way life flows.

(Tr. by Witter Bynner)

When I asked Viral to read something for pō’ĭ-trē, he first pulled out The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins. :) After reading a bit from inside the book and the cover sleeves, he decided to record two excerpts from the Tao Te Ching, before (hopefully) recording some Collins for us.

The Tao, commonly referred to as The Way, is a collection of seemingly simple passages, that explain life and its various intricacies. It can be compared, loosely, with  Kabir’s Dohas and Thiruvaluvar’s kurals.

I was however reminded of Eliot when I heard these lines, ‘But forever sends forth a succession of living things as mysterious/As the unbegotten existence to which they return.’

     "We shall not cease from exploration
     And the end of all our exploring
     Will be to arrive where we started
     And know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot

The unseen, unheard, withheld, all disappear when one goes with the flow.


Entry filed under: Black Mamba, English, Lao Tzu, Viral, Witter Bynner.

Just Children The Manger of Incidentals

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. hostgatorcom review  |  December 31, 2011 at 4:53 am

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.


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