1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Laotzi’s wisdom February 8, 2011

image by axinia

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
(verse 2., Tao Te Ching by Laozi).


20 Responses to “Laotzi’s wisdom”

  1. Engraver Says:

    Beautiful translation, thanks!
    Russian version I read is very different…

    • axinia Says:

      same here…i found the Russian one also very different..but interestingyl, the Truth remains the same, even in different translation – that’s the quality of a Primordial Master.

  2. Misery begets happiness and happiness begets misery. (Or results in) – That’s the eternal circle of life. Nice poem.

    Destination Infinity

  3. Rustam Says:

    Otlichno! I nuzno nam evropejcam bilo 2000 let stob otkritj eti mudrosti 🙂
    Ja retko prihozu na tvoj blog nu kakgda pridu menja vsegda zdjot odushevlenie 🙂 keep doing 🙂

  4. radha Says:

    the truth is so beautiful! so perfect! my brain is always happy when reads Tao te Ching ~ i have one version here from the shelf, chinese text included too. Difficult and easu complete one another,
    Long and short test one another;
    Pitch and mode give harmony to one another;
    Front and back give sequence to one another;
    Therefore the Sage relies on actionless actovity, carries on wordless teaching.

  5. Sam Says:

    This from a Chinese scripture right.But the non-yogis won’t understand it.

  6. Mahesh chendake Says:

    One thing is clear from your and radha’s Writing’s that writer describes bad ,wrong, evil things first and says because of them opposite have meaning or value. just like any coins have tow sides. both the sides complete coin.so the wholeness of things the author believes which i admire . qualities like detachment still involving in all activities gives totally different look and high standards to writings . Since first day of post i am reading and finding heart touching……
    Therefore the Master
    acts without doing anything
    and teaches without saying anything.
    Things arise and she lets them come;
    things disappear and she lets them go.
    She has but doesn’t possess,
    acts but doesn’t expect.
    When her work is done, she forgets it.
    That is why it lasts forever…..
    same meanings interpreted in Radha”s Writings also!
    really good/nice one. I understands and loves such literature but find difficult to describe still can better describe in mother tongue i.e. in Marathi. I enjoy it’s beauty by understanding.I know many such good author and their writing in Marathi.
    I like this post.
    Thanks Axinia

  7. Sam Says:

    I think She=The Serpent.BTW Axinia do you Foot-Soak everyday.

  8. Wu wei is not passivity !

  9. Mahesh chendake Says:

    Arati Prabhu, Anil, Indira sant, Ba. Bha. Borkar ,vinda karandikar, Bahinabai Vasant bapat, mahanor ,Mangesh Padgaonkar,Balkavi,Kusumagraj,…..

  10. mirelhr Says:

    Wu-wei does not mean doing absolutely nothing, but simply the naturalness of Tao, its effortless non-exerting way of bringing forth being from its nothingness or simplicity.”creative quietude,” Do nothing by self-will, but rather conform to the Infinite Will, and everything will be done for you.

    The Doctrine is the doctrine of non-doctrine,
    The Practice is the practice of non-practice,
    The Method is meditation by non-meditation,
    And Cultivation which is cultivation by non-cultivation.

    This is the Mind of non-mind, which is wu hsin,
    The Thought of non-thought, which is wu nien,
    The Action of non-action, which is wu wei,
    The Presence of the absence of volition,
    Which is Tao.

    wu wei, the activity of non-action; as well as of wu nien, the Thought of non-thought, and wu hsin, the Mind of non-mind. realization of the place within the web of inter-being, within the cosmos, and – knowing connection to all-that-is – can offer only thoughts, words and actions that do no harm, that are spontaneously virtuous.

    -doing nothing that is unnecessary, artificial or not natural

    .无为.. follows the law of reversion When one thing reaches one extreme, it reverts to the opposite. In the end,

    All things come into being,

    And I see thereby their return.

    All things flourish,

    But each one returns to its root.

    This return to its root means tranquility.

    It is called returning to its destiny.

    To return to destiny is called the eternal (Tao).

    To live by the law of reversion is to stand in the pivot of the Tao, where one is in the center of the circle of change, harmonizing the opposites. “The pivot of the Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge.” Knowing that one extreme leads to the opposite, the Taoist sage stays in the middle, not taking sides, not competing nor interfering, sensitive to the changes around him but sensible enough not to be affected by them and seeing the totality. Letting things alone, he rests in his original nature
    There are no fixed limits.
    Time does not stand still.
    Nothing endures,
    Nothing is final.
    You cannot lay hold
    Of the end or the beginning.
    He who is wise sees near and far
    As the same,
    Does not despise the small
    Or value the great:
    Where all the standards differ
    How can you compare?
    With one glance
    He takes in past and present,
    Without sorrow for the past
    Or impatience with the present.
    All is in movement.
    He has experience
    Of fullness and emptiness.
    He does not rejoice in success
    Or lament in failure.
    The game is never over.
    Birth and death are even.
    The terms are not final 老子

    Chuang Tze refers to wu-wei as the “fasting of the heart,” the emptying of faculties, so that the person is free from limitation and preoccupation and his heart, like the window, becomes full of light, secretly transforming others. Empty, still, tranquil, silent, the non-action of the Taoist sage is not inaction but action, or perhaps the distinction between action and inaction is lost since joy is attained.

    In nourishing your soul and embracing the One,
    Can you do so without straying?
    In concentrating Vital Energy to achieve softness,
    Can you be the infant child?
    In clarifying your mystical vision,
    Can you do so without failing?
    In loving the people and governing the state,
    Can you act through natural action?
    In opening and closing Heaven’s Gate,
    Can you act the part of the female?
    In expanding your vision to the four directions,
    Can you be without prejudgment?
    Give life to them, nourish them,
    Give life, but do not possess.
    Act, but don’t attach
    Cultivate, but do not slaughter.
    This is called, “Mystical Virtuosity”. 老子

  11. Mahesh chendake Says:

    Thanks mirel. nice explanation. I have not read other literature but I am fond of such literature and also enjoy it’s beauty. i always surprise how they inspire such thing to write. but i got answer in your writing. really to understand wholeness of thing is very much important. when i get it, i enjoyed so I enjoyed today.
    thanks again as it is deep inside touching somewhere and saying ,join and
    try to understand it’s meaning.
    law of reversion need to study more but seems tobe find true as seen to history and which suggest life may not end it will appear and reappear may be in different changed form as accepted by nature.

  12. mirelhr Says:

    thank you Mahesh and thank you antiphonsgarden for the inspiration:)
    i didn’t explain, i’ve just shared with you….
    the only thing I am sure of that grasping the Tao intellectually or through some rationally derived procedure is pointless.This principle can be understood intuitively, it does not seek to advance man to some new state of being, merely to return him to his original and natural consciousness.

  13. Agree mirelhr…I am sure that Chuang tse would have agreed with me that kicking into the ants nest can be an act of tao, as much as gazing at a holy wall might neglect the tao.

  14. Julia S Says:

    like it and miss you!

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