January 25th, 2011

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 70 - "My yoke is easy."

My words are easy to understand and easy to perform,
Yet no man under heaven knows them or practices them.

My words have ancient beginnings.
My actions are disciplined.
Because men do not understand, they have no knowledge of me.

Those that know me are few;
Those that abuse me are honored.
Therefore the sage wears rough clothing and holds the jewel in his heart.
Daily Tao - November 22nd, 2009


Everybody thinks these are the words of Lao Tze,
But i think the Tao itself is speaking to us here.
And no one is as surprised by this as me.
I conceive the Tao as impersonal principle,
working wordlessly and mysteriously,
through processes that i will never understand.

But i think i hear Tap talking, even puzzled:
"Why is it so hard?  Compassion, moderation, humility
What else do you want or need?
(Suddenly i hear Jesus in the garden:
"Could you not stay awake one hour?)

We are reminded again and again that the Way is easy,
yet few are able to take it.
Worse than that, most people mock it, abuse it.
No wonder the wise sometimes keep news of it under wraps.

My ego agrees with you that Jesus, Francis, and Ryokan were fools.
Turn the other cheek?  Boy, there's a recipe for abuse.
If someone takes your stuff, call the cops; that's what they're there for.
For God's sake don't you recognize hyperbole and allegory when you hear it,

Now i know why the Way looks hard;
and why the wise hide their jade of great price
beneath their rags.


Let what little light i have shine.
let me share any jewels i might have in my heart.
Let me show compassion, moderation, and humility
to my wife,
then to my children, relatives, and friends
then to my neighbor (yeah, that neighbor!)