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#2725 - Friday, February 9, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

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    This is Part Two of Two, of Petros's version of the Tao Te Ching, from  

in harmony with the way

sky is lucid
earth is rich
water is pure
evolution rolls on

when fools interfere
sky darkens
earth is sterile
water poisons
evolution goes awry

masters know the way
and adjust accordingly

doing nothing
masters leave nothing undone

rushing about
the do-gooders ruin all

when the way is lost
there is the right
when the right is lost
there is the good
when the good is lost
there is organization
the sign of degeneration

masters think of depths,
not surfaces
masters think of the root
not the branches

no will of their own
masters submit to the way
and delusion is swallowed up

doing nothing
through the way all is done

when the way is taught
worlds are transformed

desires quenched at root,
the way manifests everywhere

the breath must expand
before it can diminish
to rectify a thing
it must first be spotted
to win the way
requires loss of self and delusion
this is subtle perception

soft truth
overwhelms hard ego

the work is mystery
its results are manifest


one centered in this way
blows around like the wind
perceiving unity
in midst of chaos

this way is dull
flavorless to the mind
looking one does not see it
listening one fails to hear it
yet in the midst
one finds it pervades all


the way flows pervasively
all things flow out of it
uncreated by it

flowing into endless worlds
the way is unattached to any

flowing into all things
the way is not noticed

all things flowing back to it
the way alone remains
unconscious of its singularity

knowing others is psychology
knowing the self is wisdom
mastering others is politics
mastering the self is magic

realizing present sufficiency
is true wealth
realizing the center of this way
is true accuracy
realizing death flows into the way
is the only immortality

like a black hole
all things revolve around it
and no thing can escape

the singularity of the way
contains within all things
named and unnamed

knowing names and forms
are not to last
masters avoid delusion


swords cut both ways
this the masters know
and bear them lightly

abandoning fear
the masters' greatest weapon
is the way

facing enemies
the master bears no grudge
neither rejoicing in victory
nor mourning in defeat

entering battle
like his own funeral
the master knows the outcome

to govern by the way
is not to force things
or conquer by arms
for this brings opposite response

masters do what is needful
then retire to solitude

they comprehend that all things
by nature evolve chaotically
and do not attempt to mold
or shape things to a plot

knowing oneself
one doesn't try to sway
or seek approval

realizing one's self-nature
the world realizes it too


the universe is what it is
to meddle is likely to distort
there is a best time for advancing
and a best time for retreat

a best time for energy
and a consequent time for rest

a time for flowing outward
and a time to flow into the way


study the active force
yet abide within the receptive,
and receive all energy within
if one receives energy
one will abide in this way

study the outward flow of things
yet abide within the hidden hub
if one abides within the cave
one will realize this way
without limitation

study the personal
yet abide in the impersonal
seeing all things as they are
seeing truth as it is
will awaken the bright way within
and reveal one's self to one

the world is made from void
like pots from clay
the masters study the pots
but know the way of the clay

wise pilgrims have no set routes
and are not obsessed with arrival
wise artists have no firm designs
and let inner guidance show the way
wise scholars have no biases
allowing what they find
to form their ideas

masters are open to all
without rejecting in advance
wasting nothing
they use what's at hand
and thus make manifest
the light of the way


unmoving void is source
of all that moves
masters travel everywhere
without leaving their home

unmoved by inner restlessness
they abide on the axis
of the worlds

the way unifies inner and outer
not depending on spacetime
but the source thereof

the way is infinite
the many worlds are infinite
nature is infinite
sentient beings are infinite
sentient beings follow nature
nature follows world laws
and world laws follow the way


to stretch beyond one's power
is to risk unbalance
to rush madly
headlong into strife
is to fall behind the way
to boast is not to know
all such stretching, rushing, boasting
is far from the way
and the masters reject it all

the masters follow the forces of natural law
high winds diminish quickly
rain is dispersed by the sun
and their words end with eloquent silence
being not separated from the way,
masters experience all that is needful

yield and be whole
flex and be integrated
empty and be complete
to have nothing
is to have nothing to lose
to have much
is to have much to lose
masters embrace the all-embracing
realizing themselves,
thus forgetting themselves
and opening to all that is

highest magic is to follow this way
for it attains the utmost without effort
its essence is dark mystery
formless nameless imageless
thus all form name image
in all the many worlds
owes its existence to it

masters may appear to be perplexed
and even to themselves
seem dull or dark
thus fools mistake them
as being useless or impaired
but like the clouds they drift
and seek neither here nor there
abandoning analysis, ending striving,
the wisdom of the way is theirs
and thus they may come to be envied
but realize they are transient as well


attain one's full potential in the way
not in the many ways of worldly thought
attain the center of the wheel
relinquish profit, loss and empty strife
and feel the touch of unmediated life


when amnesia interrupts the perfect way
functional behavior needs to be reinforced
 and society pretends to hold the good
a typical cycle can be seen at work
that the real way is only regained
after extensive periods of loss

masters act without unneeded speech,
that devotees may think
they attained all on their own efforts
the masters know that devotees
have a ways to go to gain the way

one must go through being
to find nonbeing

when things break their natural cycles
and seem to embody chaotic wildness
the master remains in calm abiding
and thus sends out a mighty force
to pull all back to that same way

masters are evidently wise
alert to every movement in the road
but having no limiting desire
their actions seem inscrutable to men
often seeming wistful or distracted
others think them uncertain
but stilling muddy waters by inaction
over time will make them clear


the way unmanifest is void
without form or light or sound
or name or place or quality
seeking it will show no source
  only surrender and be that
and then this way is manifest

the ordinary fear failure loss and death
the master fails to see such things
living veritable simplicity itself
the ordinary make themselves the center
the master has no center or periphery
unmoved alone in the way without end

excess of light blinds
excess of sound deafens
excess of taste deadens
true devotees shun surfeit

spokes make a wheel
the hub makes it turn
clay makes a bowl
 the hollow makes it hold
doorless a room is a box
windowless a house is dark
thus the empty is most needful


inside and outside are one
thoughts and things are one
arising from the same void source
masters know no separation
thus don't confuse one with two
devotees wipe the mirror of their minds
that they may reflect what really is
responding to the moment
masters know no delay in action
and attain the deathless way


the cup is treacherous if overfilled
the blade is weakened if over sharpened
possessions are more transient
when more prevalent
masters seek neither praise nor blame
but speak and act then go

like water the master flows downhill
into meditation without tendencies
falling to the stable center place
speaking and thinking only as needful
not motivated by personal ends
the master is acknowledged to be right and fair

to be in this way
is to forget the personal self
knowing truth as neither real nor not real
the master no longer seeks the self
knowing it is self that does the seeking
relinquishing analysis,
surrendering examination,
the master has attained by becoming
cutting off separation
unification is realized
as always already so


immobile with infinite energy
is the mind in meditation
both movement and immobility
understood as two in one
no more seeking with senses
or probing with useless intellect
the nondual state is recognized
as the changeless core of is


nature acts without mind
nor regard to any things
like its source the deathless way
and the masters who abide therein
acting freely and impersonally
regardless, careless
with energy unending and unbound


the endless source of all things
is the way beyond all ways,
undiminished source of things
itself without a source beyond itself
never failing to provide a steady flow
but only limited by those already full


maintaining modesty the devotee
wisely avoids attention
possessing vast inner stores
but remaining silent as a monk
the devotee avoids comparisons
satisfied with walking in the way
the devotee eschews superfluities
untrained in clever manipulation
and stressful psychic rationalization
the devotee preserves great energy
and rectifies the worlds by pulling toward this way


we know nothing in itself
but only by difference
thus the many worlds exist
to show each other in comparison
the master walks only in the way
and knows all things as only relative
and transient manifestations of that way
knowing this perfect wisdom
the master knows delusion from the real
and becomes mindless, actless and immortal

that which has a name is not the source
but the way is not different from all names
name and form are only known
by comparing with what they are not
the deathless source is never known
but everything is only known due to it

~ ~ ~

 Petros's version of the Tao Te Ching, from

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