Peace and Pandemonium

Sunday, November 16, 2008



I have been reading from the Tao Te Ching lately. The Tao Te Ching was written in China roughly 2,500 years ago at about the same time when Buddha expounded the Dharma in India and Pythagoras taught in Greece. The Tao Te Ching is probably the most influential Chinese book of all times. Its 81 chapters have been translated into English more times than any other Chinese document.

The Tao Te Ching provides the basis for the philosophical school of Taoism, which is an important pillar of Chinese thought. Taoism teaches that there is one undivided truth at the root of all things. It literally means:

Tao (the way)
Te (strength/virtue)
Ching (scripture)

It is brilliantly simple and completely confusing all at the same time. As I understand it, that is why it is so powerful. This particular verse (among others that I have yet to post here) has really resonated within me.

Verse 20

Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?
How ridiculous!

Everyone else is joyous
as if enjoying the greatest feast,
or going up the terraces in spring.
I alone am drifting without direction,
like a baby who has not yet smiled.
I alone am moping as if I had no home.
Everyone else has more than they need,
I alone seem in want.
I have the mind of a fool, how confused I am!
Other people are bright and clever,
I alone am dark.
Other people are alert and self-assured,
I alone am dull and muddled.
I am unsettled like the waves of the sea,
like the restless wind.
Everyone else has a purpose,
I alone am stubborn and awkward.
I am different from other people,
Even so, I am nourished by the Great

Photo credit to Claire Noire. An oldie but a goodie. Thank you!
I feel like this image really reflects how I feel about this verse and in general. : )

I love that you draw upon the thoughts of all the philosophies of the world. That was indeed profound yet simple.
I also loved hearing all the other things that were going on in the world; it puts it all in perspective.

World Religions was one of my favorite classes in college.
I could really use this verse right now. Away with the pity party!!!!!!!!!
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