The Way of Tao

Yin and yang blue

Image via Wikipedia

“The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.”

-Lao-Tzu

To reflect on Taoism, I thought it would be fitting to return to the beginning. In the beginning, we learn that Tao called Tao, is not Tao. It seems this is the case because the Tao is everything, so any one thing that is called Tao could only be a part of Tao. This makes sense because Tao isn’t a point or destination, but the way.

Moving further along the way, we learn that names can name no lasting name. I like this because it hints at the potential for continued growth. A baby is born, becomes a child, then an adolescent, an adult, and finally an elder. Context changes the name.

Nameless: The origin of Heaven and Earth. This context reveals what I believe to be the original yin yang. It existed before naming. Through naming: the mother of ten thousand things, we distance ourselves from Heaven and Earth, becoming ten thousand splinters of Heaven and earth—still part of the same whole, just with spaces between.

When we empty ourselves of desire, we perceive mystery because we have no desire to know. When we never know what to expect of these mysteries, we are kept in a state of ziran. When we are filled with desire, we perceive manifestations. Dynamic desires produce mysterious manifestations, also keeping us in a state of ziran. Perhaps this is why they are deep and again deep—our desires, or lack thereof, are the gateway to mystery. We always perceive, it is just a question of what we will perceive.

That we will never know.

By being in tune with nature, we all walk our own way. Each way is important because it returns ten thousand splinters to the wholeness of Heaven and Earth.

We are Tao.

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National Geographic: A Star in the East?

They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”

Matthew 2:2 (CEB)

Click to Buy (Amazon.com)

Here it is, the moment for which I know you’ve all been waiting. It might not lead you to the Inn that let Mary and Joseph crash in a stable for the night, but anyone interested in religion should check this out.

The internationally renowned cartographers at National Geographic have created a companion guide to the Common English Bible. The guide accurately puts biblical events, well, on the map. 21 full color maps, to be exact.

The guide has several features that should keep you from getting lost on your biblical journey: a narrative describes what is being shown on each map and even highlights the chapters and verses that are being illustrated. If you’re still lost you can simply thumb to the guide’s index for help.

Or maybe you should contact Garmin.

LETTER TO ALL

 

 

 

“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

The only known photograph of Chief Seattle, ta...

Image via Wikipedia

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us,

that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know – there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all.”

 

 

 

-Chief Seathl