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May 23rd, 2012

Daily Tao - 11

A wheel has spokes,
but it rotates around a hollow center.

A pot is made out of clay or glass,
but you keep things in the space inside.

A house is made of wood or brick,
but you live between the walls.

We work with something,
but we use nothing.
-

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 11 (This version is the Beatrice Tao.)

Daily Tao - 11
“You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people and things that you hate.”
(from Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott; on page 22 of Bird by Bird she attributes this quote to “my priest friend Tom”)

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Whoever lives, the wicked and the blessed,
Contains a hidden sun within the breast –
Its light must dawn though dogged by long delay;
The clouds that veil it must be torn away –
Whoever reaches to this hidden sun
Surpasses good and bad and knows the One.
The good and bad are here while you are here;
Surpass yourself and they will disappear.

— from The Conference of the Birds, Translated by Afkham Darbandi / Translated by Dick Davis


Poetry Chaikhana Blog » Farid ud-Din Attar – The pilgrim sees no form but His



Y
ou may notice that i have only copied the second half of this lovely piece of a lovely poem, The Conference of the Birds.  I am sensitive to language which attempts to be inclusive but ends up appearing exclusive.  It is disconcerting to me to hear someone say that no one is excluded in a way that seems exclusionary of, say women or First Peoples.  If "God" created male and female in Her/his/its image, then "God" is hermaphrodite or genderless.  Being human is not a step on the path to becoming a man; being a man is a small step on the path to becoming human.

The pilgrim sees no form and only knows
that Tao subsists beneath all passing shows
The pilgrim comes from that which she can see
Lives with it, with him, and beyond all three.
Be lost in Unity's inclusive clench
Or you are human but not yet a Mensch.
Whoever lives, the wicked and the blessed,
contains a hidden sun within the breast-
Its light must dawn though dogged by long delay
The clouds that veil it must be torn away--
Whoever reaches to this hidden sun
Surpasses good and bad and knows the One.
The good and bad are here while you are here:
Surpass yourself and they will disappear.

                           With apologies to Farid ud-Din Attar

Knowledge

"The structure of nature may...be such that our processes of thought do not correspond to it sufficiently to permit us to think about it at all.....The world fades out and eludes us....We are confronted with something truly ineffable.  We have reached the limit of the great pioneers of science, the vision, namely, that we live in a sympathetic world ... that is comprehensible to our minds."
     --Percy Bridgman, physicist (1882-1961) quoted by Karen Armstrong.

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