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December 22nd, 2014

Tao Te Ching Chapter One.

Even the finest teaching is not the Tao itself.
Even the finest name is insufficient to define it.
Without words, the Tao can be experienced,
and without a name, it can be known.

To conduct one's life according to the Tao,
is to conduct one's life without regrets;
to realize that potential within oneself
which is of benefit to all.

Though words or names are not required
to live one's life this way,
to describe it, words and names are used,
that we might better clarify
the way of which we speak,
without confusing it with other ways
in which an individual might choose to live.

Through knowledge, intellectual thought and words,
the manifestations of the Tao are known,
but without such intellectual intent
we might experience the Tao itself.

Both knowledge and experience are real,
but reality has many forms,
which seem to cause complexity.

By using the means appropriate,
we extend ourselves beyond
the barriers of such complexity,
and so experience the Tao.

Tao Te Chig, English by Stan Rosenthal, Terebess Asia Online (TAO)

This is not my favorite transladaptation of Chapter One, but....Read more...Collapse )

Answer for question 4160.

Who was your first best friend? Are you still in contact with them? If not, what would you say to them if you could talk to them today?
My first thought was that my first and only "best" friend is my second wife to whom i have been married 53 years. But as i thought about it, yes, i have had friends, good friends, and even best friends, especially in high school.

After moving at least once per year for the previous seven years we moved to the small town where i would spend the eight years from age 10 to age 18. This was a very friendly town and in spite of my preference for being alone, my strangeness, and my undiagnosed autism, the other kids reached out and encircled me and drew me in to their friends groups, My friends were mostly marginalized kids, Indians, Pilipinos, others who did not fit well with the prevailing preteen and teen cultures. At 14 i even had a girl friend (later a fiance but never a wife). After five years i was still "the new kid in town; then at age 15 there was an influx of new families.

One was the new Coast Guard commandant who had a son my age. He was brilliant, athletic, socially apt, good looking, a potential star, and for some reason he took a liking to me and some of my friends, We double dated. He drew me into competitive writing, athletics, and stand up comedy, at all of which i turned out to be surprisingly good. We became, i think, best friends.

Two years later his father was transferred and he was gone. We did not stay in touch. I learned years later that he became an attorney specializing in maritime law. What would i say to him? Maybe that he almost changed my life. For those two years i was part of the "mainstream." I came out of my shell a little, I had genuine fun. Thank you, i would say, I wish we had stayed in touch



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