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The Beauty Of The Tao Te Ching Verse 14

Living with the Tao Te Ching in ordinary life.


Verse 14


Look, and it can't be seen.

Listen, and it can't be heard.

Reach, and it can't be grasped.


Above, it isn't bright.

Below, it isn't dark.

Seamless, unnamable,

it returns to the realm of nothing.

Form that includes all forms,

image without an image,

subtle, beyond all conception.


Approach it and there is no beginning;

follow it and there is no end.

You can't know it, but you can be it,

at ease in your own life.

Just realise where you come from:

this is the essence of wisdom.

 

This verse speaks to me about relaxing into the deeper wisdom of life.


We try so hard to grasp, to experience and then to synthesize our experiences into some form of knowledge which we hope we can help us to gain a better understanding of the world. This verse lets us know that the essence of life and wisdom comes only when we stop trying and just accept the moment exactly as it is.


The key phrase in this verse is the line 'You can't know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life.' The 'at ease in your own life' is such a beautiful phrase because it answers so many complicated questions with such simplicity.


We must be at ease in our own lives and to do this we need to be accepting of everything that arises as it arises. To be at ease means to have no resistance, no walls, no barriers. When we aren't at ease it is because we are fighting against the reality of what is, and that is where stress arises from.


We need to learn to unlearn. To not know.


In the not knowing and the total acceptance of each moment we come to be at ease and as the verse says, 'Just realise where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom.'

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