Sunday, September 27, 2009

Verse 73: A Wide Net

Verse Seventy-Three
The Tao is always at ease.
It overcomes without competing,
answers without speaking a word,
arrives without being summoned,
accomplishes without a plan.
Its net covers the whole universe.
And though its meshes are wide,
it doesn't let a thing slip through.

~ Stephen Mitchell translation ~
For me, this verse underscores a major difference between the Abrahamic religions and the Taoist philosophy. The former hold that all existence was created and is overseen by a sometime benevolent and sometime angry being -- Yahweh, God or Allah -- which humanity should worship. Taoism, on the other hand, sees no being or entity at all. We view the underlining of life to be a process and we call that process Tao.

And the most remarkable thing, from a Taoist perspective, is that each of us is part of this process. There is no and can be no separation or estrangement from it. While a Christian can say that a person has turned away from God, a Taoist would never suggest it is even possible to turn away from Tao because Tao incorporates everything and everything is incorporated in it. It would be like saying that a person could hide from their own shadow!

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. HI RT -

    I love this verse. And if lived, the opportunity for mis-use of power would be eliminated. I Like that a lot!

    Love to you

  2. This one was kind of interesting:

    I did have to answer someone today without speaking what I was really thinking -- so this applied to my day today. ;^)


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