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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Tao Te Ching

Even though I've made plenty of snarky remarks about my ex-husband on here, he introduced me to some good things too. One was punk music. And another was the Tao Te Ching. He didn't read the Tao itself, but had a copy of the Tao of Pooh, which is how I learned about the real book.

After we split up, I needed something, anything to guide me. I was wandering around a bookstore one Sunday afternoon when I ended up in the religion section, where a copy of the Tao Te Ching popped out and practically begged me to buy it. So I did.

I grew up in the Church of Christ, and even though I don't believe in organized religion anymore, I still find solace in many various teachings, especially when I'm floundering in new waters. Without getting too much into what I believe and what I don't believe, I'll just say that I think most religion has some value, but most people who profess to "be" something, don't really understand it and therefore, miss the most valuable lessons.

That's why I like the Tao Te Ching. It's all about the individual. What one verse means to one person, it can mean something completely different to another person. And they are both right. But in order for it to be valuable, you must truly be honest with yourself.

I go through phases where I read it a lot and right now I'm in one of those phases.

There are a lot of different versions and I don't profess to be an expert on the Tao, but my hard copy is a translation by Stephen Mitchell and I read this online version.

So short story long, I felt like sharing this verse, for no real reason other than it's something I've been thinking about lately. Hope you enjoy it:

"Not knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
Then you can move toward health.

"The Master is her own physician.
She has healed herself of all knowing.
Thus she is truly whole."

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