Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

Time Out for the Tao

Having noticed certain shortcomings in my own conduct of late, I turned to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as I often do.  I am noting some passages below that particularly rang applicable given current events.  Maybe they’ll also provide some food for thought for others too.  For those folk who are still so programmed to believe any wisdom outside of Scientology is deleterious, a few words by L Ron Hubbard on the Tao Te Ching:

“It says that man could seek his Tao-hood in various ways, but he would have to practice and live in a certain way in order to achieve Tao-hood.  Now, there’s no reason to belabor this any further, but it would amaze  you that this book is a very civilized piece of work.  It would be the kind of civilized work which you would expect maybe to appear from a very, very educated, extremely compassionate, pleasant people of a higher intellectual order than we are accustomed to read.  It is a very fine book.  It’s sort of simple, it’s sort of naive and it tells you that you should be simple and economical and should do this and that.   And that is, by the way, about the only flaw there is in it from a Scientological point of view: that you must be economical. [laughter] That one is a little off the groove. But the rest of “The Way”, who knows but what if we took the Tao just as written and knowing what we already know about Scientology, we simply set out to practice the Tao.  I don’t know but what we wouldn’t get a Theta Clear.”  – lecture Scientology, Its General Background, Part II, the Phoenix lectures.

Selected passages from Tao Te Ching:

There is no greater illusion than fear, no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself, no greater misfortune than having an enemy.  Whoever can see through fear will always be safe.

If a country is governed with tolerance, the people are comfortable and honest.

If a country is governed with repression, the people are depressed and crafty.

The Master views the parts with compassion, because he understands the whole. His constant practice is humility.  He doesn’t glitter like a jewel but lets himself be shaped by the Tao, as rugged and common as a stone.

When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear.  When the body’s intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.  Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.  Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.  Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.  Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.

He who stands on tiptoe doesn’t stand firm. 

He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.

He who tries to shine dims his own light.

He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.

He who has power over others can’t empower himself.

He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.

A great nation is like a great man: when he makes a mistake, he realizes it.

Having realized it, he admits it.

Having admitted it, he corrects it.

He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers.

He thinks of his enemy as the shadow he himself casts.

What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?

What is a bad man but a good man’s job?

If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are.

It is the great secret.