Home - Dharma for Awakening - Tao Teh King for Awakening–Preface - Beginning and End

Beginning and End

Part 64 of the Tao Teh King for Awakening

Tao Teh King for Awakening cover
Also available a free PDF download from our E-Library and as an ebook and paperback from Amazon International.

What is at rest is easy to maintain.

What has not yet happened is easy to plan.

That which is fragile is easily shattered.

That which is tiny is easily scattered.

Correct problems before they occur.

Intervene before chaos erupts.

A tree too big around to hug is produced from a tiny sprout. A nine-story tower begins with a mound of dirt. A thousand-mile journey begins with your own two feet.

Whoever tries will fail. Whoever clutches, loses. Therefore the Sage, not trying, cannot fail. Not clutching, he cannot lose.

When people try, they usually fail just on the brink of success. If one is as cautious at the outset as at the end, one cannot fail.

Therefore the Sage desires nothing so much as to be desireless.

He does not value rare and expensive goods.

He unlearns what was once taught.

He helps the people regain what they have lost, to help every being assume its natural way of being, and not dare to force anything.

(Tao Teh King 64–Mabry translation)

What is at rest is easy to maintain. Lin Yutang: “That which lies still is easy to hold.”

When our mind and life are at rest in the awareness of our spirit-self, they are easy to control and direct.

What has not yet happened is easy to plan. Lin Yutang: “That which is not yet manifest is easy to forestall.” Looking ahead and planning what we wish to bring about before interfering conditions can arise, we shall be successful in shaping our life. Further, if we are aware of problems that could arise and take measures to prevent them we will be free of troubles.

That which is fragile is easily shattered. Legge: “That which is brittle is easily broken.” If our thought and actions are not flexible and accommodating, they will be shattered to our disappointment and even grief. Failure only can result.

That which is tiny is easily scattered. When negative thoughts, things and situations are just beginning, are only hints, then is the time to deal with them, for they can be easily dispersed. That is why Solomon said: “Take us [Let us catch] the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15), before the vineyards would be destroyed by them.

Correct problems before they occur. Again, we need to look ahead and see what difficulties might come and set about either preventing them or preparing to meet and overcome them.

Intervene before chaos erupts. Lin Yutang: “Check disorder before it is rife.” The moment we see a hint of chaos or disorder we must step in and stop its progress without delay or hesitation.

A tree too big around to hug is produced from a tiny sprout. A nine-story tower begins with a mound of dirt. A thousand-mile journey begins with your own two feet. Wu: “A journey of a thousand leagues starts from where your feet stand.” Big things start out being small. If we deal with them from the start, we will be able to either eliminate them or make them develop into what we want them to become.

Whoever tries will fail. Whoever clutches, loses. Therefore the Sage, not trying, cannot fail. Not clutching, he cannot lose. Byrn: “If you rush into action, you will fail. If you hold on too tight, you will lose your grip.” This is too obvious to need any comment.

When people try, they usually fail just on the brink of success. If one is as cautious at the outset as at the end, One cannot fail. Wu: “With heedfulness in the beginning and patience at the end, nothing will be spoiled.” Many times I have seen projects that were going very well suddenly ruined by the very people working on them. The secret is to be careful every step of the way, to prevent delays and most of all not to rush anything. Steady and sure must be the policy. Then success will result.

Therefore the Sage desires nothing so much as to be desireless. For desire causes rush and carelessness. In fact, nothing destroys like desire, which in a myriad ways brings ruin. Therefore success in anything is guaranteed by not desiring or being attached to a certain goal. Flexibility and accommodation are necessary at all times. Letting things develop without forcing is a wise policy.

He does not value rare and expensive goods. Nor does he value rare and expensive results! Rather, the wise man is willing to let things be natural and humble rather than impress and awe any observers. Simplicity and moderation is a mark of wisdom.

He unlearns what was once taught. Feng and English: “He learns not to hold on to ideas.” There is a great deal every one of us must unlearn before we can really learn the true nature and state of things. Much of what we have been told from childhood is errant nonsense. Every so often our minds need a good clearing out. Buddha said that one of the major obstacles to wisdom was clinging to ideas rather than examining and eliminating that which is not in harmony with truth and inner development.

He helps the people regain what they have lost, to help every being assume its natural way of being, and not dare to force anything. The wise man does not presume to indoctrinate and direct people, but shows them the way to find the wisdom that has always been within them. Real spiritual awakening is a process of remembering. When I first read the Bhagavad Gita I felt that my own soul was speaking to me. I did not learn a single thing: I remembered what I had forgotten. Truth is not learned but is recognized. Enlightenment is the natural state of every one of us. We do not force it or even attain it, but we recognize it. Our blind eyes are opened and we see what has always been there. We “come to ourself” in the truest sense. We uncover that which has been present all along but hidden.

Next in the Tao Teh King for Awakening: The Grand Harmony

(Visited 158 time, 1 visit today)

Introduction to The Tao Teh King for Awakening

Chapters of The Tao Teh King for Awakening

Preface to The Tao Teh King for Awakening

  1. On the Absolute Tao
  2. The Rise of Relative Opposites
  3. Action Without Deeds
  4. The Character of Tao
  5. Nature
  6. The Spirit of the Valley
  7. Living for Others
  8. Water
  9. The Danger of Overweening Success
  10. Embracing the One
  11. The Utility of Not-Being
  12. The Senses
  13. Praise and Blame
  14. Prehistoric Origins
  15. The Wise Ones of Old
  16. Knowing the Eternal Law
  17. Rulers
  18. The Decline of Tao
  19. Realize the Simple Self
  20. The World and I
  21. Manifestations of Tao
  22. Futility of Contention
  23. Identification with Tao
  24. The Dregs and Tumors of Virtue
  25. The Four Eternal Models
  26. Heaviness and Lightness
  27. On Stealing the Light
  28. Keeping to the Female
  29. Warning Against Interference
  30. Warning Against the Use of Force
  31. Weapons of Evil
  32. Tao is Like the Sea
  33. Knowing Oneself
  34. The Great Tao Flows Everywhere
  35. The Peace of Tao
  36. The Rhythm of Life
  37. World Peace
  38. Degeneration
  39. Unity Through Complements
  40. The Principle of Reversion
  41. Qualities of the Taoist
  42. The Violent Man
  43. The Softest Substance
  44. Be Content
  45. Calm Quietude
  46. Racing Horses
  47. Pursuit of Knowledge
  48. Conquering the World by Inaction
  49. The People’s Hearts
  50. The Preserving of Life
  51. The Mystic Virtue
  52. Stealing the Absolute
  53. Brigandage
  54. The Individual and the State
  55. The Character of the Child
  56. Beyond Honor and Disgrace
  57. The Art of Government
  58. Unobtrusive Government
  59. Be Sparing
  60. Governing a Big Country
  61. Big and Small Countries
  62. The Good Man’s Treasure
  63. Difficult and Easy
  64. Beginning and End
  65. The Grand Harmony
  66. The Lords of the Ravines
  67. The Three Treasures
  68. The Virtue of Not-Contending
  69. Camouflage
  70. They Know Me Not
  71. Sick-Mindedness
  72. On Punishment (1)
  73. On Punishment (2)
  74. On Punishment (3)
  75. On Punishment (4)
  76. Hard and Soft
  77. Bending the Bow
  78. Nothing Weaker than Water
  79. Peace Settlements
  80. The Small Utopia
  81. The Way of Heaven

Visit our e-library page for Free Downloads of this and other ebooks in various formats.

(Visited 158 time, 1 visit today)