In honor of Thursday being my last day of classes at Ye Olde Acupuncture School,* I have decided to share with you a master work of philosophical genius that has been lost in the mists of time for at least a year, until the world was ready for such an offering. I refer to one of the most influential pieces of classical literature ever composed, the foundation of great civilization, the inspiration of great culture, the cornerstone of great religion, the cosmology of great healing, and the impetus for great learning: the Tao Te Ching.
Rewritten into jaunty limerick form by yours truly.
The Tao Te Ching
A new translation of the first 12 chapters, by David
Tao. An unnameable notion:
The eternal, original ocean
From which Earth and Heaven
And all mysteries have been
Revealed as just nothing in motion.
Yin and yang – ugly, attractive –
Arise mutually and remain active.
You can’t have just one, no:
The wisdom’s to let go.
The holding on’s what’s most distractive.
Here we investigate worth.
Preferring abundance to dearth
Just creates stealing,
Wanting nothing is Mastery’s birth.
Now to return to the Tao,
And it’s quite paradoxical how
The source of all matter
And celestial chatter
Is magnificent emptiness. Wow.
The galaxy’s not sentimental,
And Mastery isn’t judgmental.
Be empty, impartial.
The secret’s to marshal
Nothing: it’s so transcendental.
The Tao, inexhaustible Mother:
The subtle kind, not one to smother
A child with attention.
That’s not her convention.
Her power is something quite other.
What never starts will never end.
Those who move back will always ascend.
The secret’s to detach,
Be selfless and then match
The giving of Heaven. Transcend!
What benefits all without trying,
Is humble and simple, low-lying?
To accomplish the best good,
The aspiring Sage should
Mimic water’s unselfish supplying.
The opposite of your desires
Will come to you if it transpires
That you keep up your wishes
For overfilled dishes.
Detachment is what peace requires.
Lead without being controlling.
Let things happen and keep the ball rolling.
Seeing only the good stuff
Won’t make you a cream puff.
You’ll be virtuous, prime for extolling.
Like the empty inside a clay pot,
What’s there’s less of use then what’s not.
While the tangible’s fine,
It’s the space that’s divine:
A detail we’ve clearly forgot.
As the ear can be deafened by sound,
The heart hurts when desires abound.
To increase your vibration,
Please reduce stimulation
And keep your mind’s focus profound.
* It is my last day of classes, but I will not be able to graduate until I finish up my clinical internship. Make your appointment today.