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Tao For Today; Verse 5

Updated on May 18, 2011
Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives everyday by sharing her joy and love of life.

The Tao Te Ching is a philosophical text written by Lao-tzu, a philosopher and historian, during the time of Confucius. This text, written in two parts, with eighty-one short sections, serves as a philosophical guidepost. The term "Tao" means way or path. In many philosophical works, this term refers to a calling. In the Tao Te Ching, the term Tao refers to a much larger metaphysical principal, a universal oneness, from which all things come, and to which all things return. While "Tao", is a path, and a way, the meaning is much broader, encompassing and mysterious. The term "Te" refers to the moral power and virtue associated with one who follows a correct path. In the Tao Te Ching, Te refers more to the virtue one gains by following Tao, the way. The perennial wisdom presented within the Tao Te Ching seems mysterious and complex with first reading. Upon further inspection, meaning recedes further, until the text seems convoluted and impossible to understand. Such is the mystery of Tao. Rather than wrestle with meaning, absorb the words and let the Tao speak to you.

Heaven and Earth are not kind:

The ten thousand things are straw dogs to them.

Sages are not kind:

People are straw dogs to them.

Yet Heaven and Earth

And all the spaces between

Are like bellows;

Empty but inexhaustible,

Always producing more.

Longwinded speech is exhausting.

          Better to stay centered. 

 Tao sees our behavior as an external mask. Tao sees beneath the mask to the goodness of our hearts.

Do not attack the behavior of others or try to change it. Stay centered in Tao and look beyond to the goodness of the heart.

Welcome- love- accept others. What pleases or displeases you about them doesn't matter. What does matter is reaching out, beyond behavior to welcome and accept.

To the sage, none are more or less important. The sage holds everyone as special and important. Nor does Tao give energy to some and take energy from others. To Tao, none and all are favorites.

Straw dogs were ritual objects. Before the sacred ceremony, straw dogs were held in esteem. Afterward, they were disregarded and trampled underfoot. The sage looks impartially and sees the sacred within the ten thousand things.

Today, as you walk through life, try to eliminate your judgement of others. Look for yourself, reflected in everyone. Look beyond the form of their body or behavior and seek the spirit that dwells in everyone. This is the meaning of Tao.



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    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thank you, Awful Poet, for taking the time to read them.

      Best to you


    • Awful Poet profile image

      David Walston 5 years ago from The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) (m-M)_0 = 18.41, or 48 kpc (~157,000

      I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these hub;s very much, Thank you for taking the time to publish these selection;s Namaste~

    • alternate poet profile image

      alternate poet 7 years ago

      Interesting take on it - here in China the people seem to have all these things within the normal day to day culture and, compared to our convoluted mishandling of life, it makes them seem very wise indeed in the simplest ways. Peace.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Springboard and James, thanks for your kind comments.

      I appreciate your feedback.


    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Beautiful message. Well delivered. Thank you. :-)

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Whatever principles guide your life, let them be good principles. Interesting read.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      "Tao" in Filipino is "person". I'm a FIlipino and so I'm curious. Now I have a new meaning for "tao" - "never to judge others, to look for myself reflected in everyone, to look beyond their physical form and behavior, and seek the spirit that dwells in everyone". What a great feeling! Thanks!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      "It's better to stay centered". It's better!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Thank you Pro Design Source, I notice that usually when I read something like that, it speaks to me exactly where I am.

      Carolina muscle, thank you.


    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Interesting- thanks!!!

    • Pro Design Source profile image

      Pro Design Source 7 years ago

      "Today, as you walk through life, try to eliminate your judgement of others. "

      A well timed hub for me personally.

      Thank you!