Wednesday, February 23, 2011

16: The Cycle of Life


Attain utmost emptiness.
Abide in steadfast stillness.
All things arise in unison.
Thereby we see their return.
All things flourish,
And each returns to its source.
Returning to the source is stillness.
It is returning to one's fate.
Returning to one's fate is eternal.
Knowledge of the eternal is realization.
Not knowing of the eternal leads to unfortunate errors.
Knowledge of the eternal is all-embracing.
To be all-embracing leads to righteousness,
Which is majestic.
To be majestic leads to the Heavenly.
To be Heavenly leads to the Way.
The Way is eternal.
Until your last day, you are free from peril.

The Cycle of Life

The universe is cyclic. Celestial bodies move in their strict orbits. On Earth we see the four seasons repeated endlessly. Other repetitions are the moon's monthly phases and the daily shift from sunrise to sunset. All living things are born, grow to maturity, and then pass away. This is the nature of things, whether we approve or not...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 16 Translation and Commentary

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