The Way to Life - A Tao Te Ching


we distinguish beauty by contrast with ugliness
we are capable of attraction because we are capable of repulsion
attraction and repulsion are poles of the same reaction
they arise from the same source
the same is true of our sense of good and evil

so it is that being and non-being
and life and death
originate together
and remain interdependent

difficult and easy complement each other
long and short are relative to each other
the higher and the lower can only exist mutually
treble and bass harmonize each other
before and behind exist only in continuum

so the sage lives every day without extraneous effort
in harmony with the natural flow of events
and teaches without explanations
the sage lets nature take its course
turning nothing away
not seeking reward or gratitude
the sage gives benefit only for the sake of benefit
without wanting to possess or control anything

the sage accomplishes
but subtracts none of the merit from his work
he knows that he is simply a channel through which the work flowed

because the sage never identifies himself with the work
nothing is lost
so his achievement can last forever

july 2006