The Tao of Dark Sages
by Scott Bradley
by Scott Bradley
What is a ‘dark sage’?
One of the anonymous authors of the Book of Chuang-tzu speaks of the ‘tao of the dark sages’; these are the sages that follow their tao quietly and without self-publicity. It is among them that true wisdom resides.
I will tell you now: Beware the sages that call themselves teachers, change their names to seem more profound, and call the world to themselves through meetings and books! The True Tao is hidden and only the hidden walk in the Tao.
Lao-tzu himself said, ‘I have freed myself from knowledge, from the spiritual and from being a sage.’ But who was Lao-tzu? Did he even ever exist? His greatness is only apparent in his anonymity. ‘Who can free himself from achievement and fame,’ asked Chuang-tzu, ‘and descend lost amid the masses of men? He will be like the Tao itself, Unknown.’
What is it to learn to fly?
Right. I said that emptiness is to be empty of content so that intuitive understanding can grow. But there is more. When you have lost every false support there can only be total openness and surrender to the Unknown. Learning to fly is flowing free with all that is, all that comes, all that goes. Flying is complete surrender, thankfulness, aimlessness and purposelessness.
What is despair? Is it not a function of the ego-self? Is it not the a refusal to accept what is because what is does not conform to the ego’s concepts or wants? How can despair survive the dissolution of the ego-self? How can despair exist in emptiness? When you are in free-fall through nothingness only surrender arises. And with surrender comes trust. And with trust comes affirmation and profound peace. These are the fullness of which I spoke.
Do these come from the Unknown?
Fullness is. Fullness spontaneously arises. Does the Tao cause the flower to bloom? “Heaven produces nothing, yet all life is transformed. Earth does not support, yet all life is sustained.”iv We are mistaken when we assign agency to that which we do not know. Enjoy the gift of life. Relax in the gift of joy.
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