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May 30th, 2012

Daily Tao - 18

When people lose touch with Tao,
they start talking about
"righteousness" and "sanctity."

When people forget what's true,
they start talking about
"self-evident truths."

When people have no respect
for one another,
they start talking about
"political correctness"
and "family values."

When the nation is unstable,
people start talking about "patriotism."

The Beatrice Tao.  Ron Hogan

Daily Tao - 18

Writer's Block: Universal Trek

Star Trek has been a cultural phenomenon for decades, from TOS Kirk chewing up the scenery to reboot Kirk sky-diving from orbit. Why do you think this show has captivated so many viewers, both young and old? Do you wish the Trek vision of the human race's future would come true?
Well, there is the courage and the cooperation of beings of different ethnicity and species and even from different solar systems. There is the discovery and adventure. But interstellar travel will never serve the interests of any but a tiny elite. It has been a waste of our resources, energies, and talents from the beginning. The real adventure is inward. Until we know who we are, we will be unable to serve the universe any better than we have served this planet.
As air becomes the medium for light when the sun rises,
And as wax melts from the heat of fire,
So the soul drawn to that light is resplendent,
Feels self melt away,
Its will and actions no longer its own.
So clear is the imprint of God
That the soul, conquered, is conqueror;
Annihilated, it lives in triumph.

What happens to the drop of wine
That you pour into the sea?
Does it remain itself, unchanged?
It is as if it never existed.
So it is with the soul: Love drinks it in,
It is united with Truth,
Its old nature fades away,
It is no longer master of itself.

The soul wills and yet does not will:
Its will belongs to Another.
It has eyes only for this beauty;
It no longer seeks to possess, as was its wont –
It lacks the strength to possess such sweetness.
The base of this highest of peaks
Is founded on nichil,
Shaped nothingness, made one with the Lord.

— from Jacopone da Todi: Lauds (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes

(From Ivan Granger's commentary)

Mystics often use phrases like “self-will” to express a more fundamental understanding of what the will is and how it works. You can say that self-will is selfish will, in opposition to the will to be of service, for example, but that doesn’t quite get at the heart of the matter. Self-will is will that is tainted by the petty self, the unmelted self, or the ego. Self-will is not just selfish will. It’s quite possible to perform great philanthropic works and have it still be from self-will. Self-will is will that is under the control of the ego, compels action that serves the ego, and compels action that reinforces the ego. Self-will renews the trance of the ego.

Consider, is there a way to drop this self-will, to be free from its clutches, without becoming an inactive lump on the couch? Is there a form of will that does not originate with the ego and constantly return our attention to it? Finding this second will, what is it like? This other will is profound, immense, powerful, yet not our own. It is a form of will that does not serve the little self. It is not possessed by us, and it does not concern itself with possession of things or experiences. To unleash this will in our lives requires an elegant balance between yielding and stepping forward, between passivity and attentive action, between selflessness and presence. Actions take place through us, but we are not the actors. What we normally think of as the self is not directing the action.

This frees up a great portion of psychic energy, and we become awestruck witnesses to life playing out through us and all around us — a vision of immense beauty!

It has eyes only for this beauty

Poetry Chaikhana Blog » Jacopone da Todi – As air becomes the medium for light

Daily Tao

"Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching" - 18 - Derek Lin

May. 30th, 2012 at 1:15 PM

When the great Tao fades away
There is benevolence and justice
Intelligence comes forth
There is great deception

The six relations are not harmonious
There is filial piety and kind affection
The country is in confused chaos
There are loyal ministers

    -- Derek Lin
Accurate Translation of the Tao Te Ching

( "Benevolence," "Justice," "intelligence," " piety," "loyalty." and "affection," -- aren't these "good" "things?" According to the Tao Te Ching, they come when the Tao  "fades away", and when there is deception, lack of harmony, and confused chaos. )  Coincidence?  Cause and effect?

The fading of Tao is the beginning of the end; benevolence, justice, intelligence, deception, disharmony, piety, kind affection, confused chaos, and loyalty are landmarks.  Benevolence is no more a "solution" than deception is; loyalty no more than chaos,  The problem is the "fading" of Tao.

But the Tao has not faded, it is where it always was, where it always will be, in us and around us.  The fading is our doing.  Tao is the only solution to the only problem.  How do i know that the Tao is in me and around me?  By looking.  How do i look? I respectfully look at others' ways of looking and then find my own
Daily Tao



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