Tao (Great Mother) is an approachable, comforting, and universal idea"What is this Tao? The concept transcends the powers of reason and must be grasped intuitively, it is beyond words, beyond all differences and distinction, it is the unchanging, permanent reality of constant change, it is the ground of being and nonbeing, it is akin to the Hindu concept of the Brahman."
The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
Tao Te-Ching 6
There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is The Mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.
It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.
The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.
Tao Te Ching 25
In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.
To find the origin,
trace back the manifestations.
When you recognize the children
and find The Mother,
you will be free of sorrow.
If you close your mind in judgements
and traffic with desires,
your heart will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging
and aren't led by the senses,
your heart will find peace.
Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity.
Tao Te Ching 52
"Scriptures: Tao Te Ching (the Classic of the Way and its Power), according to tradition written by Lao-Tzu.
Key concepts: the Tao, introduced in the Tao Te Ching as follows: "The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be defined is not the unchanging name...There is a thing inherent and natural, which existed before heaven and earth. Motionless and fathomless, it stands alone and never changes; it pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted; it may be regarded as The Mother of the Universe. I do not know its name. If I am forced to give it a name, I call it Tao, and I name it supreme... Man follows the laws of earth; earth follows the laws of heaven; heaven follows the laws of the Tao; and Tao follows the laws of its intrinsic nature."
What is this Tao? The concept transcends the powers of reason and must be grasped intuitively, it is beyond words, beyond all differences and distinction, it is the unchanging, permanent reality of constant change, it is the ground of being and nonbeing, it is akin to the Hindu concept of the Brahman."
"While Tao is comparable to the highest deities of the world's great religions and mythologies, it is especially unlike the Christian concept of God. There is no anthropomorphizing of Tao in the text, yet it is an entirely approachable, comforting, and universal idea.
Great Tao flows everywhere, / It extends to the left and to the right. / All beings receive It in order to live and to be free. / It works out perfectness in them although It possesses not a Name. / It protects them with love and sustains them, but does not claim to be Ruler of their actions.—ch. 34
One very good method for furthering our understanding of any philosophy is to compare new findings with ideas that are already familiar to us. Students of religious texts or philosophies will recognize some quite striking parallels between these verses and those found in other traditions. One of particular interest has to do with Tao, which creates yet remains apart from its creation or, as mentioned above," sustains them but is not ruler of their actions."We can find this idea practically verbatim in the ninth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita; likewise in the Vishnu Purana;"He, though one with all beings, is beyond and separate from material nature (Prakriti), from its products, from proper ties, from imperfections" (Bk. 6, ch. 5).
Taken independently, any of these sources of ancient truth expresses itself profoundly and suggestively, but when they are coalesced into one study, our comprehension is greatly increased. The nature and method of creation, the purpose of being, and a sense of divine impersonality, are just a few thoughts that arise in our minds as a result of this single inquiry into the nature of Tao. In chapter 51 we read: "It gives them Life, but does not possess them. / It gives them activity, but does not depend on them. / It urges them to grow, but does not rule them."Tao governs its creations not with threats and fear, but with the knowledge that all life is infused with its life, and that the expression of life is mutually beneficial for the enlightened and unenlightened alike....
It is a rare thing to find an entire philosophy expressed in so few words. The Chinese language being a very concise one, especially as applied in the Tao Teh Ching, has the dual quality of being refreshingly direct and profoundly subtle. Because of its economy of words, this ancient classic has maintained its integrity down through the ages, rendering itself to us in an inspiringly modern way. In the end we perceive Lao-tzu's message as a highly mystical one. It is perhaps on this level that we can best identify with it, for it reaches us out of our shared antiquity, that timeless past of ageless being."
Sunrise magazine, October/November 1990
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