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I paint, make collages and mixed media work. I write poetry. I reflect on the Tao.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Tao verses that wrote themselves

People conceal themselves.
Perhaps they are afraid to lose their good name.
People want sages who reveal themselves.
People want celebrity sages.

Dao sages cannot reveal themselves
because they do not conceal.

People like to have a lot.
Some people have a lot and give a lot.
Some people have a lot and give little.
Some people have little and give little.
Some people have little and give a lot.
Dao sages give everything.

How can they give everything?
Because they have nothing.

People are full—
full of themselves,
full of opinions
full of doubts
 full of certainties
full of learning.
Because they are full, they have lots to give.
Dao sages are empty and have nothing to give.

How can Dao sages give everything
and yet have nothing to give?

Because they undertake the giving that is empty,
the giving that is constant,
the giving non-giving of the Flow.

Monday, February 4, 2013

From the Notebook

Three pieces from the current Notebook that seem to intersect.

Retrieved from a comment posted on Google Plus:

I think that the notion of the artist as heroic (whether being true to her or his inner genius in the face of an indifferent world or leading the spiritually impoverished masses forward) is as seductive and dangerous for the artist, as the pursuit of fame, wealth or power. Seductive because it appeals to the ego and dangerous because it leads away from the essence of art making.

A Poem Fragment

Now Truth goes in disguise
dressed in the rags of lies.
He slips his arm around her waist:
Sweet Death, so innocent, so chaste

Tao writing that came of itself from the first line as I work on a "translation" of the Tao Te Ching for a new version of MyTao

All creatures, all living things, all things under heaven and earth live in the Flow.
Only humanity tries to go against the Flow.
Only humanity can create desires contrary to their natures.
Only humanity has the will to seek fulfilment of these desires.

What are the desires that are contrary to human nature?
Fame, fortune and power are the three desires that humanity creates.

Does the bird seek renown for her song?
Does the rose seek your praise for her beauty and her scent?
Does the mountain hope for your admiration at her height?
Wherefore comes the desire for fame, then?

Do the cattle work hard and long for money to buy grass?
Do the trees trade their fruits for gold and silver?
Do the rocks beat you up and rob you of your purse?
Wherefore comes the desire for fortune, then?

Do the dolphins carry arms to enslave the fish?
Does the might oak lord it over the saplings?
Does the volcano threaten to erupt so that you will yield to its will?
Wherefore comes the desire for power, then?

This is why we say
Humility, the gateway to fulfilment
Simplicity, the gateway to contentment
Compassion, the gateway to courage.

This is why we say:
abandon desires,
become empty,
act without effort
hold onto stillness.