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The Good Man’s Treasure

Part 62 of the Tao Teh King for Awakening

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The Tao is the hidden reservoir of all things.

A treasure to the honest, it is a safeguard to the erring.

A good word will find its own market. A good deed may be used as a gift to another.

That a man is straying from the right path is no reason that he should be cast away.

Hence, at the Enthronement of an Emperor, or at the installation of the Three Ministers, let others offer their discs of jade, following it up with teams of horses; it is better for you to offer the Tao without moving your feet!

Why did the ancients prize the Tao? Is it not because by virtue of it he who seeks finds, and the guilty are forgiven? That is why it is such a treasure to the world.

(Tao Teh King 62–Wu translation)

The Tao is the hidden reservoir of all things.

Though it contains all, the Tao is not only just unseen, it is hidden from what a Christian hymn calls “earth-dimmed vision.” The Tao in this aspect is referred to in a mantra that is recited daily by Hindus:

Purnamidah, purnamidam,
purnat purnamudachyate;
Purnasya purnamadaya,
purnam ewawashishyate.

Purna means total, full and complete, which is what our English term “perfect” used to mean, rather than just without fault. In this verse, the word “Complete” (Purna) refers to the Tao. Here, as best I can, is a translation into English:

This is the Complete; That is the Complete.
The Complete has come out of the Complete.
If we take the Complete away from the Complete,
Only the Complete remains.

Let us say it another way: the Absolute is the Tao; the Relative is the Tao. The Relative has emanated from the Absolute. Yet if we “take away” either of these and consider only the one or the other, we will find that each is the Tao; even more, we will discover that the Absolute is the Relative, and the Relative is the Absolute. For both are the Tao.

A treasure to the honest, it is a safeguard to the erring. The Tao fosters and even enriches the honest and true. The more we vibrate in harmony with the Tao, the more we have access to its abundance and the more it empowers and guides us. The Tao is benevolent to all. Certainly it responds to the wise and virtuous but it is a protector of those that stray from the path of the Tao. Despite all the chaos and suffering in the world, still its basic construction ensures eventual evolution and escape from earthly bondage and eventual freedom into boundless life.

A good word will find its own market. A good deed may be used as a gift to another. Good will lead us to its appreciation. Extensive as degradation can be in society, yet that which is good will be recognized and even honored. Doing good is the greatest gift we can give to the world, even though the deed may be small. It is the vibration of goodness that purifies and corrects both us and the world around us.

That a man is straying from the right path is no reason that he should be cast away. In the Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church we find these words: “O Lord, thou hast created man to be immortal and made him to be an image of thine own eternity; yet often we forget the glory of our heritage and wander from the path which leads to righteousness. But thou, O Lord, hast made us for thyself and our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in thee. Look with the eyes of thy love upon our manifold imperfections and pardon all our shortcomings, that we may be filled with the brightness of the everlasting light and become the unspotted mirror of thy power and the image of thy goodness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” There is no mention of casting away or cutting off of anyone, because Bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater knew from their study of Indian scriptures that it is the inviolable nature of a human being to evolve into Christhood. So although someone may be living in a foolish or negative way, he is a sleeping god of infinite value and never to be cast away. In truth, he cannot be cast away.

Hence, at the Enthronement of an Emperor, or at the installation of the Three Ministers, let others offer their discs of jade, following it up with teams of horses; it is better for you to offer the Tao without moving your feet! Feng and English: “But remain still and offer the Tao.” Certainly the greatest gift that can be given to a society is a life lived in perfect conformity with the Tao and the offering of knowledge of the Tao to any who will listen.

Why did the ancients prize the Tao? Is it not because by virtue of it he who seeks finds, and the guilty are forgiven? That is why it is such a treasure to the world. Mabry: “Why did the Sages of old value the Tao so much? Because when you seek, you find and when you sin, you are forgiven. That is why the Tao is the greatest treasure of the Universe.” Legge: “Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Was it not because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape (from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven consider it the most valuable thing.” The Tao can be attained; and in that attainment all defilement and guilt are dissolved, for they are illusions and only the Tao inside and outside us is real. How great is the Tao!

Next in the Tao Teh King for Awakening: Difficult and Easy

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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

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