July 18th, 2012

Daily Tao - 67


Everywhere I go, people tell me,
"Tao is so powerful, so immense,
it's inconceivable!"

But it's only powerful
because it's inconceivable.
If we could wrap our minds around it,
Tao would be just another thing.

The three most important qualities in life
are compassion,
or showing kindness and mercy to others,
or knowing what a thing is worth,
and modesty,
or knowing your place in the world.

Courage stems from showing
kindness and mercy to others.
Generosity starts with knowing
what a thing is worth.
True leadership begins with knowing
your place in the world.

But these days,
I see everyone trying to act courageous
without any trace of compassion.
They try to be generous
but they don't practice moderation
in their own lives.
They act like leaders,
but they have no sense of modesty.
No good can come of this.

If you want to get ahead,
show people compassion.
When other people attack you,
defend yourself with compassion.
It's the most powerful force in the universe.
The Beatrice Tao

Daily Tao - 67

Murder, Mystery, Page 2

Reuben had not seen the massacre, he said.  But he thought he must have arrived at the scene immediately after  The way had been pleasant, beautiful, silent, spiritual.  The soldiers must have returned by another route for he heard not a sound.  A perfect place to pray, he thought.  Then, then.... the horror.  There must have been a dozen bodies, no fifteen, no twenty?  It was hard to tell, limbs and heads were severed, bodies were piled atop other bodies, and on top of the pile, the body of a young woman, Elizabeth.

He would take her to the place if she insisted on going.  It was not far, but the path was steep, and, despite its beauty, dangerous.

The way was beautiful and peaceful, but except for her training she would not have noticed.  She had been taught to live in the moment, to look at what was in front of her, She knew not to ruin past, present, and future by not being present in the present.
But that was hard today, desire drove her to the next hill or bend and beyond.

It was terrible!  It was well past time for burial and the bodies were still there, left to bloat in the sun.  Evidently none of the people knew of the killings.  And there was Elizabeth.  Eyes wide in the blazing sun, a small body among large boned peasants, a woman among boys and men, a remnant of beauty in the post-violent horror.  And there was something else.  She felt it long before she saw it.

Elizabeth had been killed differently, in a different time, in a different way, perhaps in a different place.  Elizabeth would not have been in a group of men who were not the teacher's students.  A woman would not be part of a group of men doing,,,what?  Anything, praying, conspiring, a women would not have been among them.  Only among the teacher's students did women and men feel free to intermingle.  She knew not how she knew, but she knew that her sister had not been killed by soldiers.

"Let the dead bury their dead," came to her mind as her father's version of something the teacher had said.  No, she thought, the living must bury the dead as an act of mercy.  Whatever the compassionate teacher meant by that statement, he did not mean leaving these bodies here to rot.  The people must come to bring these bodies back for burial.  She knew there were those who seemed to hate the body in order to better show love for the soul, but this seemed a foolish notion, and, at the moment, horribly wrong.