Friday, October 23, 2009

Hua Hu Ching - Verse 42

Verse Forty-Two
Nothing in the realm of thoughts or ideologies is absolute. Lean on one for long, and it collapses. Because of this, there is nothing more futile and frustrating than relying on the mind. To arrive at the unshakable, you must befriend the Tao. To do this, quiet your thinking. Stop analyzing, dividing, making distinctions between one thing and another. Simply see that you are at the center of the universe, and accept all things and beings as parts of your infinite body. When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood the great truth.
~ Translated by Brian Walker ~
When I first contemplated creating this blog, I acknowledged to myself that no one should take anything I write with more than a grain of salt. Nothing here would be absolute. There are no insoluble truths that would be presented. The best that I could offer people would be my meager contemplations on the Taoist philosophy and my cat scratchings on a bevy of concepts and issues.

I have stuck by this belief ever since. It's not because I don't have confidence in my analytical and writing abilities -- I do -- but it has dawned on me over the past few years that nothing is absolute, including anything I might say or write.

Serious students of science should understand this perspective. Every time someone declares that a particular fact or theory cannot be altered or improved upon, someone comes along to do just that! The history of science is strewn with absolutes that have since been chucked to the curb: the earth is flat, the earth is the center of the universe, no other animal has the ability to problem solve, disease is caused by evil spirits and the list goes on and on.

The only way ANY of us could know something with all certainty is IF we had all the information of existence available to us. We would have to know everything about the past, present and future. Since this will never happen, we will never know anything absolutely.

But remember, take everything I wrote above with a grain of salt!

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

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. the 42nd verse left me blank. I just read it and stared and gulp, nothing. I totally agree with really, the fundamental teaching being when an act done to someone is the same to you as an act done to yourself, we are walking/living/being in the tao. Thanks

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