Friday, August 26, 2016

A Minute Meditation

I usually post texts that either I agree with to a greater or lesser degree or which puzzle me and I hope for illumination.  Rarely do I post something that I disagree with, but this will be one of those rare occasions.

"The Wise are pleased by nothing
          and pained by nothing,
          delighted by nothing
          and angered by nothing.
Everything is mysteriously the same.
         There is no good and bad.

-- Lao Tzu --
from Taoist Wisdom, "August 26"
Timothy Freke, editor

Not being Wise, I am pleased by some things
         and pained by others,
         some things delight me
         while I am angered by others.
Everything is mysteriously and wondrously different.
        There are things good and bad.

It is clear that I have an impossible distance to travel before I become "Wise."


  1. i'm trying to stay away from the tao, here; but only to underscore, as this poem does, the core truth that virtues and evils are a product of the human mind, not the natural environment...

    1. Mudpuddle,

      Yes, that is the core of the statement. What do you think of it? Do you agree or disagree?

    2. i take it that the second verse is yours? the first is a straightforward statement of detachment as practiced by Taoists and Zenners(at least in theory); the second records the reactions of humans to the activities of other humans, succinctly and directly; i admire and sympathize with the second but try to follow the first which proffers a road to freedom and contentment...

    3. Mudpuddle,

      Yes, the second is mine. The first brings to mind the old adage by Edmund Burke, ""The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

      Hitler was evil, in spite of denial by some Taoists and Zennists. Rape is evil, in spite of denial by some Taoists and Zennists. I think those who accept such ideas should be required weekly to tell some woman who hasd been raped that rape is not really evil, it's all in her head and that she should look at it as such. Therefore, since rape is not evil, then it is wrong to punish rapist, murderers, pedophiles, etc. and that we should get rid of those laws prohibiting behavior when we mistakenly call evil. Sorry, but that doesn't work for me.

      And Taoists also say that this is the real world and we should deal with it accordingly. Even among Taoists there is some confusion.

    4. you'll notice that zenners and taoists either are hermits or spend their time in a monastery, not in the outside world... i think a much more acceptable attitude would be illustrated by the teachings of the Dalai Lama, who says people only need to do one thing: be kind to others...

    5. Mudpuddle,

      If there's no such thing as good and evil, then there's no such thing as kindness and unkindness, right?

      Doesn't make sense to me, but then I'm clearly unenlightened.

    6. Mudpuddle,

      Living in a monastery or as a hermit certainly does protect one from the rest of the real world and all those tricky poroblems.

    7. for sure; also, tibetan buddhism is a different than zen or the tao; it's more akin to normal buddhism, which is more of a religion, with precepts and behavioral requirements... but it's all a matter of opinion, anyway; even those who've achieved "enlightenment" say that afterwards life returns to normal, which means doing the job, dealing with life as it comes, and like that... for me, it's all ideas; i just enjoy my retirement and do the best i can to get along with the world...

    8. Mudpuddle,

      I'm retired also, so I know what you mean. Philosophy and Phantasy are Phun, but the real world just won't go away.