Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Which is more destructive, gain or loss?
My favourite verse so far from Tao Te Ching:

Heaven is eternal, earth is everlasting.
The reason they can be eternal and everlasting
is that they do not foster themselves;
that is why they can live forever.
For this reason sages put themselves last,
and they were first;
they excluded themselves,
and they survived.
Was it not by their very selflessness
that they managed to fulfill themselves?

I am really enjoying this book so far. It seems to speak to me like no other book I've read. It seems to me I already have a general, deep understanding of Taoism, even though I've never actually researched it or anything. It's an understanding that I can't begin to express in words, however, which makes it suck as a topic for a weblog entry. But suffice it to say, I think Taoism has influenced my life in many ways before I ever picked up a book on the subject.

Edit: Another favourite verse:

Which is closer, your name or your body?
Which is more, your body or your possessions?
Which is more destructive, gain or loss?
Extreme fondness means great expense,
and abundant possessions mean much loss.
If you know when you have enough,
you will not be disgraced.
If you know when to stop,
you will not be endangered.
It is possibe thereby to live long.

Great stuff.