The Way to Life - A Tao Te Ching

commentary added into text in italic


Tao cannot be captured in words
any name we give to it will be inadequate

although it is unnameable
Tao contains everything that can be named
from the nameless Tao
the nameable universe emerges
but naming the source of the universe
brings us no closer to its comprehension
‘universe’ is just a label for the mother of everything
Tao is a name for the nameless

trying to map a route to Tao
is like painting on water
each individual’s path to the Tao is unique

escape the ruts of routine
the constant circuit of
stop distracting yourself from your true nature
and you will experience inexplicable marvels

even if you exhaust your craving
it will never complete you
you must abandon desire
to realize that you are already complete

chasing your cravings
you will never reach beyond the surface

beneath desire is the Tao
but the Tao is also within desire
desire and its absence unite in Tao
like the opposed sides of a coin
differing only in name

the opposites are hard to understand
the understanding of the fundamental unity within this paradox
is the threshold of the comprehension
of the incomprehensible essence
of the origin of all origins

july 2006