|The Wheel of life|
From: The Three Dynamic of Meditation. By Michael Byrn
At an early age we build strong bonds to things around us, our mother father, food and drink, before we learn language these things brought us comfort, after we learn to speak we are given many things, we are told we are responsible for taking good care of these things, and that these things are ours to keep. And so we start learn the idea of ownership, now ownership to me means always being mindful of something outside yourself that you may or may not have paid for, your responsible for and if you don't keep your eye on these things they may slip out of your grasp.
Sounds like ownership or at least the whole idea can bring about a lot of worry and stress if you take it to seriously. Now intent is the part of us where we do worry about the things we own, intent is the amount of mental and physical energy a person has put into something to maintain its ownership, now if a persons Ego is driven to maintain many possessions this can cause extreme stress.
Now I am not telling anybody to go out and sell everything they have use of and are blessed with, I am just saying that it can be good to alter the way we think about the concept of ownership, and not be so extreme about it, doing so may draw the energy of intent back within the self where it belongs. Intent is the quality of the mental state of mind ones beliefs desires what they direct towards objects or affairs of every day life, what I am talking about is keeping the power of intent more reserved and using its energy in meditation.
The concept of ownership is based in the Egos desire and fear thinking, as I have written it is taught early in life so it is hard faith to let go of, over the many years of time there have been millions who have gained great riches and kingdoms from this faith, they may have had or have the world and all that is in it, but if ones intent is in all that they think they own their souls may be running on empty.
Let us look at what the author of the Tao Te Ching had to say about the subject in verse 53.
When Temptation arises to leave the Tao, banish temptation, stay with the Tao.
When the court has adornments in profusion, the fields are full of weeds, and granaries are bare. It is not the way of nature to carry a sword nor to over-adorn oneself, nor to have more than a sufficiency of fine food and drink.
He who has more possessions then he can use, deprives someone who could use them well.
Here Lao-tuz writes simply about balance that when leaders lose their way and only see great opportunity for riches the people suffer, wars arise, the poor are deprived of the basic needs in life. Ownership and its concept, in its extreme form is the cause of war, slavery; and over its thousands of years of history the deaths of countless millions, many innocent people who were just in the way. The wealthy man asked Jesus what must I do to follow you, Jesus answered the rich man saying you must sell all that you have then give the money to the poor, the wealthy man then turned away from Jesus and walked away. The concept of ownership and how it controls intent is desire and fear based thinking these concepts block the path to the spirit and soul, they drain both spirit and soul like a succubus until nothing is left. The intent that the wealthy man had put into his possessions, most likely years of hard work, he could not let go of, Jesus knew the mind of the man that's why he said it is easer for a ass to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter Heaven. Most people will never change the way they feel about ownership it is so ingrained in their thought process being part of a stern parental training, it would be ingrained to deep in the Ego to unlearn or deprogram this dogmatic faith would be very hard, to introduce meditation to such a person they would not look at it as a useful, it would be a disturbance to their Ego. It is in the quiet stillness of meditation that the Egos preconceived ideas about ownership begin to be objectively examined. Meditation is a inside job, at first it is a simple matter of focusing on the breath closing the eyes and attempting to clear the mind, to let things pass without attaching to them emotionally.
It is suggested one should go easy and slow do not force or overdo this practice at first, five or ten minutes a day is a good start, long term day by day practice brings effective result's. Remember that the Ego strongly objects and rejects meditation this is why so few go on to any kind of long term practice, people are use to the mind being full of repeating thoughts that come from the Ego. Ownership of things is one or the most powerful repetitive thoughts generated by the Ego. The Ego tells us that without material objects we cannot obtain happiness, this sets up that belief that happiness is something outside of the self, as I have written its a inside job. It does not matter what you have or what others think of you peace, joy and happiness is buried deep within the heart. Through meditation we learn to look past and diminish the character defects that hold us back and block our view of our built in happiness. The most compelling compulsion we have is the way we view our position in society we are very concerned about what others think of us. In the west we become involved in the life styles of how others live, the Ego is always involved in one-upmanship we are taught to have the best, we see others and how great their lives are in the media, and advertisements all around us, we are told and driven to be better at all cost. Must we have what others have must we run at break neck speed to keep up with things and debt? Must we have the latest things because in our minds we think someone else will think less of us if we don't? How ridiculous is this kind of thinking. This is the western mindset and it keeps hundreds of millions of people in debt, with no hope of ever seeing a way out, or that there is any other way to think. In discussions about spiritual matters I have meant oppression when it comes to meditation and in some cases outright negation of my point of view. Meditation is a spiritual practice Whatever God you believe in this practice will make your contact point easy to get to. Organized religion demonizes meditation because it is a concept of eastern thought, they tell you must buy your forgiveness as you must buy everything else. Now I am not trying to offend anyone or telling people to go out and sell everything they own and go out and walk the earth. Nor am I saying to leave your church that you enjoy and have been going to for years if you look at the words I write with a open mind the truth always is seeded. In the everyday world change is a slow and can be a painful process, one hast to be a role model of peace and non-violence. Once in a great passing change comes, life rises and falls, then the great source brings us back to life and again we rise. The circle of life and death goes on be wise ignite the fire of intent and transcend.
No great civilization can last with a war like nature history proves this over and over, wars begin when people have nothing to lose their basic human rights have been taken away, then someone gives them a gun and tells them they can fight back. Wars are waged for many reasons the big excuses are religious reasons but behind this mask hides the next mask Democracy or Communism with the promise of freedom and equality for all, but first we have to kill a lot of people to get there. These are the Masks that the capitalist imperialist impose on the country's around the world, not to free them or to give them a better life, but to control the land "ownership", and the assets of the land. The industrial war machine goes on, it is taught to our children it is all based in the Egos desire and fear based thinking. It creates the concept of ownership of things, this concept is like a religion to many people, dare I say a dark faith.
There is no past, there is no future, there is only the truth that dwells in the present tense. Time is as a waterfall the future falling from on high and the past crashing below, the real action of life takes place in the falling, or what I call the present tense. So much of our mental energy is spent thinking about past events, or planning whats to come, all our lives this is the way we have been trained to think, the past and the future are part of the human imagination the only truth we do have is the present tense.
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
Peace be with you and yours
God swims in the present tense in the silents of that moment desire fades in that fire one finds the art of not doing, by not doing one see the true self. By not doing one becomes detached from worldly events desire fades a great and hidden world of the spirit comes into view. Unlearn empty the soul let the Ten thousand things pass you by without acting on them, close your eyes take a good look inside breath in breath out ride the moment of the present tense. When nothing is done, everything will be gained.
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
Reach through the darkness and find the light of the true self.
The Three Dynamics of Meditation Words
Language is a tool that we learn at an early age, in order to get what we need in life we must make good use of this tool. Words spoken in a correct manner at times can be very powerful one who speaks the truth will know the truth, even the truth of all things. Listen to the many conversations going on around you are they about the here and now, most times they are not. Mostly they are retellings of what has already past I have to ask myself can any retelling of the past be retold as it actually happened. Trying to construct the past from a foggy memory is not a truthful way of getting your point across. Talking about the past is not being truthful period. There just Fish story's the more there told the bigger they get. Same thing with future talk, we sell tickets we cant cash. So where can we talk about the truth, in the great here and now in the mindfulness of the present tense we see what is without imagination corrupting our vision. Nothing wrong with imagination but mind you it is a work of fiction, and it built the industrial age that is killing Mother Earth. I think everyone knows what happens when words are used improperly wars can come from words spoken from the hateful heart. It is here that I am to make my point between the Two extremes, words can go Two ways it all depends on what ones actions are. My meaning here is for one to find balance in the present tense I have written about detachment in meditation from the world, but not about clarity of the mind in meditation. At an early age we learn names for everything as we grow older are table of perception grows greater and greater, how many things with names are attached to the human mind Tens of Thousands or more. In meditation one learns the art of detachment from words finding clarity of the mind, by letting words simply pass with practice the mind becomes still peace ensues words have little effect on the emotions. It is here where the balance is found where we tune our instrument into our higher self a world hidden from the great majority, the world of the spirit. It is a place of great relief of stress, a place of peace and of great healing, meditation is the path and the way to the higher power within you, and the higher power that surrounds you. This is the path to the Spirit and soul the journey within few will break the spell this world has over them I pray that more will join this movement of spirit.
Without going outside, you may know the whole world
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know
Thus the sage knows without traveling;
He sees without looking;
He works without doing.
Verse47 of The Tao Te Ching
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
by Micheal E. Byrn
Yourself as Your Power
Believe in what you see have faith in who you are and what you do, take ownership of the karma and the resuilts of those actions. Within yourself there is a higher mind if you can get past the thousands of lies wispered in your ears in the distant past. Billions of people believe their power comes from outside their self this may be true, or not. It is my opinion that all of us have a built in power but we have a hard time seeing it because we dont have a clear view of it. What blocks the view of this power? A great deal of things seperate us from it, not practicing self examination or meditation, I could make a list but I think we all know what they are. What is our priority's in life is it the pursuit of money, or is it fame maybe things, I have heard it said that he who dies with the most toys wins, in the endless pursuit of desire there is only suffering and disappointment. We must slowly unlearn what we have learned we are running on empty with no peace, no contentment, billions of people believe they have no power, that power is given from outside from some hidden place. The power really never comes, after a time they give up hope if something bad happens anger insues. There is no seeing peace in a state of anger here in lays the state of the western mindset we are very mad at each other. Men see anger and fear as a power and a tool, they make war to make gain and control. This is the way of the world there is another way.
Some of you may get the impression that I have no belief in God, this is not so, I have witnessed many supernatural events that have given me an unshakable knowing. I wrote this piece for those who dont believe to give them a sense of power and hope in themselfs. Believe in what you see have faith in the human spirit, there is a power greater than yourself, it is yourself.
Before you reach any level of power in the spirit world you must believe in your own self and the power of your spirit.
Find the stillness.
God gave me all of you, and all of you gave me God.
A word or Two about the Ego the ego is made up from an early age it is usally ideas from others, these ideas may be true or not true. If someone tells you at an early age that you are not very smart and you believe this, it will become part of your Ego your true self may be very smart, but you will act according to what your training is telling you. Now later in my life I learned that could do wonderful things, things that I was told were not worth doing, when I was very young. At a very young age I was under the will of some very unwise people, I could go on with this but just let me say that these things made me shed my ego. Some people are fine with the Ego that they have, my true self was hidden behind the shadow of many false faces. My Ego was made up of what others wanted me to be, from an early age they have been telling me do this do that. I have been programed to learn to read to obey to buy this and not that. Who are we the shadows of those who came before us, think about who you are, I mean take a good look close your eyes look inside. This is why meditation is perfect it gives you a chance to slow things down to step away from the world for a short time to see whats going on with yourself. The good thing is the more you do it the more you see, taking time to know the real self is worth the work. Freeing ones self from the Egos restraints it is like being born again to a new person, as one practices meditation more and more one finds themself not using the false tricks the Ego will use on others to get what it wants. We find peace and balance something most folks have never known.
Set yourself in a comfy chair one starts by breathing slowly try to breath from the center of your body easy and slow, it is good to think that the inward breath is a spirit of life, the outward is negative energy. It is important to consentrate on your breathing, by doing this one enters the alpha state of mind this is a state of mind between sleep and the waking state of mind. It is very easy here for one to fall asleep, and in this relaxed state many do, the key is to stay conscious in the alpha state great things happen if one stays in the alpha state for long periods of time without drifting into sleep. It takes practice but it can be done. It is good to close your eyes I do I also dim the lights the reason one do'es this is this remove the sight from the things of the world. By removing the sight from the outer world one starts looking inward, this is the how one starts the art of detachment, the way of not doing. This is where one builds a core of peace, not responding emotionally to events beyond their control. It is best to do this early upon waking that is when the energy is very high, this also takes practice every day, but there are no rules I go into the present tense or the alpha state at least three times a day. A word about the present tense this is where the future and the past are meaningless one is in the singular moment where God swims, a transcendental state of mind where I feel the balance and oneness of the Present Tense. The goal of this form of meditation is to rid the mind of desire based thinking, in the mind set of desire based thinking one is looking in the dark for the unreachable, this brings only suffering and pain. We have more than we need, if you have not you only need to ask.
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
Small steps most folks cant handle the whole ball of wax at once,
I am an old soul a buddhist but not bound to any faith.
The most brillant light is encircled in darkness.
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
By Micheal E. Byrn
Some information about the Mandalas that I Draw they are hand drawn without the help of any type of computers or measuring instruments. There is a trick that I invented to measure the circles, it is made out of paper but I dont consider this a instrument. They are drawn with acid free ink and color pencels on acid free heavy stock paper. I do some work on the computer on my paint program, but my love is my free hand work that is my Mandalas.
Zero2525 One do'es not have to change the world, one must change the mind to see peace within, one heart at a time this is how peace is won.
One cannot serve Two Masters
But Two Masters will serve the one
From The Three Dynamics of Meditation
When the dynamics of meditation are practiced daily for some time one developes a sense of balance of the emotions. When this happens the war between love and hate starts to dissipate, we discover how peaceful life can be in the balance. I myself notice that I am very protective of this core of peace, it is very disturbing for me to go outside of the balance. The light and the dark of the emotional state is out of control within myself when I step out of the balance this creates a war with the self, and a war with behavior. Through the art of meditation one learns the balance calming the emotions, one becomes the master over the powers of love and hate, and the out of control behaviors they have cause myself and others around me.
Love and Hate cause out of control behaviors there is a grey area between the two this is what I call the Eye of the Storm in this Eye the war within stops. The goal of Meditation is to hold a core of peace within yourself this will never be done without balancing the emotions. This is Key to stopping the War between the emotions and finding peace. The war within causes many great conflicts in life in meditation we find the true nature of peace escaping these extreme emotional states, that fill are life's with stress. People say oh I wish there were peace in my life, or where can I find peace, it is within take a little time and look for it.
The Art of Not Doing, From: The Three Dynamics of Meditation
A word or Two about not doing or the art there of I learned this Art from the Tao Te Ching simply put it is detachment from things that dont matter. The more you dont act on the things that dont matter, the more the things that do matter get done. Getting emotionally distracted happens all the time in life, if an emotional distraction spills over into negative behaviors and stress then takes it's course it was something out of a persons control range. Meditation teaches us our control range, and not to get involved in useless emotional battles that end up causing small wars in are lifes. Peace is maintained through behavior understanding and forgiveness, understanding that a person who may be shouting at everybody even though he or she may have not had a very meaningful life up to the point of the shouting match. When one has developed a core of peace through meditation one is less likely to lash out at others in anger, because one becomes free from this character defect. Not wanting to add to the shouting person stress level I would not respond with any kind of negative behaviors or hateful words, forgiveness go'es a long way calming the emotions brings the greatest gift of all peace.
Say can you hear that certain sound beyond the drown
of all those other voices
Do we dare pick it from the air for the
moments changing choices
Respect it not the empty plot said indifference
to blind ambition
Then weath's strong weld did say he held
the key to mans condition
But who can say said power to play what is real
or what is fiction
Then the floor was cleared for more to hear
the politics of perfect diction
On and on the empty song roared their ocean
voices never ending
So I steped aside to turn the tide for the currents
were not blending
But wait just then I heard my friend
that sound above the madness
And it was great without debate relating
me to gladness
Then disappeared all those things unclear
that roared in all their sorrows
Then truth and man walked hand in hand through
a thousand new tomorrows
A poem By Michael E. Byrn
Published in 1984
Translated By: James Legge
Keep in mind that there are 81 verses to the Tao this is going to take some time.
1. The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
2. (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of Heaven and
earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things.
3. Always without desire we must be found,
If it's deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
It's outer fringe is all we shall see.
4. Under these two aspects it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful.
1. All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing this
they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; all know the skill of the skilful,
and in doing this they have (the idea of) what the want of skill is.
2. So it is that existence and non existence give birth the one to (the idea of)
the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other;
That lenght and shortness fashion out of the one the figure of the other:
that (the idea of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one
with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through
the relation of one with the another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following the other.
3. Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys
his instructions without the use of speech.
4. All things spring up, and there is not one which declines to show it's self;
they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership; they go through
their porcesses, and there is no expectation (of a reward for the results).
The work is done, but how no one can see:
Tis this that makes the power not cease to be.
1. Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder.
2. Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his goverment, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones.
3. He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal.
1. The Tao is (like) the emptiness of a vessel; and in our employment of it we must be on our guard against all fullness. How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honoured Ancestor of all things.
2. We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should cover our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the abscurity of others. How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue!
3. I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God.
1. Heaven and Earth do not act from (the impulse of) any wish to be benevolent; they deal with all things as dogs of grass are dealt with. The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent; they deal with the people as dogs of grass are dealt with.
2. May not the space between Heaven and Earth be compared to a bellows?
3. `Tis emptied, yet loses not its power; `Tis moved again, yet sends out air the more. Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see; Your inner being guard, and keep it free.
1. The valley spirit dies not, aye the same; The female mystery thus do we name. Its gate, from which at first they issued forth, Is called the root which grew Heaven and Earth. Long and unbroken do'es its power remain, Used gently, and without the touch of pain.
Chapter 7. 1. Heaven is long-enduring and Earth continues long. The reason why Heaven and Earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves. This is how they are able to continue and endure.
2. Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in the foremost place; he treats his person as if it was foreign to him, and yet that person is perserved. It is not because he has no personal and private ends, that therefore such ends are realized?
I will continue on with the translation from A. S. Kline His is a less poetic more strait forward translation than James legge's, although I may go back and forth at times if I feel one or the other is more clear. Keep in mind that I follow the Tao and have been reading it for three years, it has changed my life.
The highest virtue is like water. Since water helps the myriad of creatures, and settles, without contention, where no one wishes to live, it is near the Way. In a house position matters. In mental quality depth matters. In friends kindness matters. In speaking honesty matters. In goverment order matters. In transaction abiltiy matters. In actions promptness matters. By not contending it never errs.
Rather than filling it over full better to stop in time. Sharpen to a point the egde won't last forever. Gold and Jade may fill the house but no one can retain them. Boasting of wealth and virtue, brings trouble on oneself. Silence when the job is done, is the way of Heaven.
1. Carrying your spiritual body on your head can you embrace the One and not let go? Concentrating the breath can you become supple as a child? Can you polish the mysterious mirror and not leave a mark? Can you love the people and rule the state without indulging in action? When the gates of Heaven open and close can you keep to the female role? When the mind penetrates the four directions are you able to know nothing? It gives them life and nurtures. It gives them life without possessions. It benefits them but ask no thanks. It holds but imposes no authority. Such is the mysterious virtue.
1. Thirty spokes round one hub. Employ the nothing inside and you can use a cart. Knead the clay to make a pot. Employ the nothing inside and you can use a pot. Cut out doors and windows. Employ the nothing inside and you can use a room. What is achieved is something, by employing nothing it can be used.
1. The five colours blind us. The five notes deafen us. The five taste deaden us. Pursuing and catching disturb the mind. Wanting scarce things delays our progress. So the wise are: For the stomach and not the eye. Taking the one, they leave the other.
Chapter 13. We will go forward with a translation of Legges version By Steve Thomas.
1. Favour and disgrace are equally to be feared; life and death are conditions of the same kind. What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is being in a low position after the enjoyment of favour. The getting of favour leads to the fear of its loss. Therefore favour and disgrace are equally to be feared. And what is meant by saying that life and death are conditions of the same kind? Having a body makes me liable to die; if I had not this body, what calamity would befall me. He who would administer the kindom, honouring it as he honours his own person, and would love it with the same love that he has for his own person, he may be entrusted with the empire.
1. We look at it, and do not see it, and so name it the Equable. We listen to it, and do not hear it, and so name it Inaudible. We try to grasp it, and cannot get hold of it, and so name it Subtle. With these qualites, it cannot be described, and so we call it the One.
2. The upper part is not bright, its lower part is not obscure. Ceaseless in its action, and yet it cannot be named, and than it again returns to nothingness.
3. This is called the Form of the Formless, and the Semblance of the Invisible; this is called the Fleeting and Indeterminable.
4. We meet it and do not see its front; we follow it and and do not see its back.
5. When we lay hold of the Tao of old to direct the things of the present, and are able to know it as it was in the beginning, this is called unwinding the thread of the Tao.
1. The skillful Masters in old times, with a subtle an exquisite penetration, comprehened its mysteries, and were deep so as to elude men's knowledge. As they were thus beyond men's knowledge, I will make an effort to describe of what sort they appeared to be; cautious as if wading through a stream in winter; irresolute as if afraid of all around them; grave, like a guest; evanescent, like melting ice; unpretentious, like a piece of uncarved wood; vacant like a valley, dull like muddy water.
2. Who can make the muddy water clear? Let it be still, and it gradually becomes clear. Who can secure the condition of rest? Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise.
3. They who preserve this method of the Tao do not wish to be full of themselves. It is through not being full of themselves that they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete.
Chapter 16. 1. Bring vacancy to the utmost degree; guard stillness with unwearying vigour.
2. All things alike go through their processes of activity, and then return to their original state. When plants have displayed their luxuriant growth, we see each of them return to its root. This returning to the root is what we call the state of stillness; and that stillness indicates that they have filfilled their purpose. Process and fulfilment is the regular, unchanging rule. To know that unchanging rule is to be intelligent; not to know it leads to wild movements and evil issues
3. The knowledge of the unchanging rule produces forbearance; Forbearance lead to a community of feeling with all things; Community of feeling leads to* the Tao.
4. Possessed of the Tao, he endures long, and to the end of his bodily life is exempt from all danger of decay.
1. The best leaders go unnoticed by the people. The next best are loved and praised by the people. Then there are those who are feared by the people. Lastly there are those who are despised.
2. When the leader lack faith, then the people lack faith in them.
3. The best leaders make their words valuable and precious. Their work is done, and their undertakings successfull, while the people say, "We are as we are, of ourselves!"
1. When the Great Tao has ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness come into vogue. When wisdom and shrewdness appear, there will be great hypocrisy. When family harmony no longer prevails, then filial piety is advocated. When the state falls into disorder, than loyal ministers are praised
We will continue with Stephen Mitchells interpretation.
Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit, and there won't be any thieves.
If these three aren't enough, just stay at the center of the circle and let all thing take their course.
Dwight Goddard Translation of verse 19 gives a better explanation for the intellectual mind.
Verse 19. When people abandon the idea of becoming a sage and give up ambition for worldly knowledge and learning, then their innate goodness will have a chance to manifest itself and will develop a hundredfold.
When there is no activity of thinking to interfere, there is nothing that the mind can not accomplish in the way of good self-development.
If ideas of benevolence and righteousness are abandoned, then people will return naturally to the primal virtues of filial piety and parental affection.
If craftiness and acquisitiveness are abandoned then theft and robbery will naturally disappear.
The reason I refer to this is because of the deficiency of these primal virtues in our present culture.
Let us restrain our sensual desires and egoism and return to simplicity and naturalness.
For verse 20 I will give Stephen Mitchell and then Dwight Goddard interpretation.
Chapter 20. Stop thinking and end your problems. What difference between yes and no? What difference between success and failure? Must you value what others value, avoid what others avoid? How ridiculous!
Other people are excited as though they are at a parade. I alone don't care, I alone am expressionless, like an infant before it can smile.
Other people have what they need: I alone possess nothing. I alone drift about, like someone without a home. I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.
Other people are bright; I alone am dark. Other people are sharp; I alone am dull.
Other people have purpose; I alone don't know. I drift like a wave on the ocean, I blow as aimless as the wind.
I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.
Verse 20. Abandon your acquired learning and do not regret the loss. There is little difference between yes and no, but what a vast difference between a good man and a wicked man. There are some things (like suffering and death) which are universally feared and which it is natural to fear, but woe to those ignorant people who desire and grasp after amusements and defilements (the very things that cause suffering and death) . People are busy with enjoyments as if they were celebrating a feast day, or as if they were flocking to the games. I, alone, am as fresh as the morning air, as pure as a babe in its mother's arms, as free as a homeless wanderer. Other people are admired and envied because of their cleverness; I, alone, am neglected. Am I (because of this) foolish at heart? No! Let them be as smart and aggressive as ever; I am content to remain retiring and obscure. Let them continue to be as sensible and as prudent as ever; let me remain as neglected as a deaf-mute.
Nevertheless, I am as pure as the water in the ocean and as free as the driftwood upon its bosom.
Let others have their means for acquiring wealth, I am content to be counted foolish and inefficient. I seem to stand in contrast to common people, empty and foolish, but I am nourished by food from Mother TAO.
We will continue with Stephen Mitchells Translation.
Chapter 21. The Master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao; that is what give her her radiance.
The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she does not cling to ideas.
The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she lets it.
Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see.
We will go on with interpretation by John Braun Jr.
Verse 22. Submit and transcend; Divergence becomes patterned, Empty becomes potential, Used becomes renewed, Basic becomes foundation, Complexity becomes confusion.
The sage embraces what is rather than what should be. We would do well to mimic this.
We see their wisdom though they do not display it. We respect them without them having to tell us why. They suffer no grand failures because they make no grand claims. They are not defeated because they do not fight.
The ancients say " submit and transcend." These are no empty words.
To be whole is to be what you are, and nothing more. Only from the whole can understanding begin.
To speak constantly is unnatural.
Rain fall and sun shine, but neither can last forever.
Let us learn from this.
To be whole is to: Be at one with the movements Of Tao. Be at one with gain. Be at one with loss.
Accept and be accepted.
We will go on with A. S. Kline's translation. This is his version of the 23rd verse it is a little different.
To speak infrequently is natural.
So a strong wind won't last all morning, a downpour won't last all day.
What causes these? Heaven and earth. if even heaven and earth must rest.
How much more so human beings?
Therefore align yourself to the way.
Aligned with the way you are one with the way.
Aligned with virtue you are one with virtue.
Aligned with the heavens you are one with the heavens.
The way accepts this alignment gladly.
Virtue accepts this alignment gladly.
The heavens accept this alignment gladly.
When there is a lack of faith
There is a lack of respect.