Tao Te Ching/Dao De Jing V 12

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The five colors can blind,

The five tones deafen,

The five tastes cloy.

The race, the hunt, can drive men mad

And their booty leave them no peace.

Therefore a sensible man

Prefers the inner to the outer eye:

He has his yes, – he has his no.

–Witter Bynner rendition of Lao Tzu’s work

= = = = = =

Youth, with a panorama of choices,

can burn out if one turns every which way.

One may age before savoring the beauty of

what it means to be young.

Skimming the surface,

instead of diving deep would, however,

seem to be the realm of youth.

This presents an insoluble biological dilemma.

Skipping along in merriment

one learns there are choices

that pull one into lifelong commitments, echoes,

and inevitably repetitions until flags are raised.

Deep diving cannot be avoided

if one is to process and move beyond

things that need moving beyond.

The flashbacks go, but the network remains.

At a certain place in life,

bobbing along the lake with a soft breeze

is all that is wanted – or needed.

The colors, tones, and tastes hold no sway.

Glimpses of sunlight,

seen through the trees,

Gently reminds one

that such a place exists.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Well summarised! By the way, Aristotle’s Golden Mean between extremes seems to be similar to Daoist’s middle of the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Confucius says, “don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you” (paraphrased).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Considering the state of the current presidency in the USA, we should also be aware of the following two quotes from Lao Tzu, from both of which the current US presidency can learn a great deal:

    A leader is best
    When people barely know he exists
    Of a good leader, who talks little,
    When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
    They will say, “We did this ourselves.”

    ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

    All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

    ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I would agree with you on both. I don’t see the current POTUS as having any capacity to grasp either of these concepts.

      Liked by 1 person

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