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The Tao Ti Ching. Living in the Fruit, not the flower.

The Taoist text the Tao Te Ching does do not translate to an exact Western meaning, and
translations vary considerably from each other because of the necessity to have a concept
of the meaning. It is a book of concepts that is on the fringe of Western understanding.

I have been reading the Tao Ti Ching for many years. It is simple but illusive.

The simplest translation of the opening is 'That which can be named is not The Way.' The
concept is that God is beyond our comprehension. Even translating 'The Way' as being
God is difficult there is a duality of God, as an entity, and a path to be followed.

The Classic Taoist problem. If God (or the Path) is beyond our comprehension how can
we live according to Gods will? The answer is that 'The Way gave birth to the ten
thousand'; God created everything. This could also be along the lines that life creates
itself.

Since the incomprehensible created everything, to live according the way the
incomprehensible intended we need to live in unison with everything that has been
created. It can also mean allow life to lead and allow things to happen when they need to
and how they need to.

Taoist literature follows two basic forms. These are as a continuous environmental
statement, how to live in unison with all that has been created, and a warning against
rules, regulation and ritual. These two opposing views of life have long been a sharp
division in Chinese society. Today it is the Falang Gong versus Communism. It used to
be Taoism versus Confucianism, but it is basically the same two forces in opposition.

Taoist writings contain many sayings along the lines of 'The ancient ones could walk on
snow without leaving a footprint.' This is often taken as being a statement of spiritual
accomplishment or creating miracles. This is a misunderstanding. It is a call to walk
softly on the earth. God created the earth, treat it gently. This is the environmental side of
Taoism, and is the real Taoism.

Unfortunately there are always 'Masters' and 'Gurus' out there willing to teach (for a fee)
the hidden secrets of Taoism. This is what the true followers of Taoism call using 'side
door' techniques. In the Taoist texts this is referred to as living in the flower, not the fruit.

Taoism, and The Way, cannot be taught. Self proclaimed Masters and Gurus cannot help.
A true master of The Way teaches by being, does nothing, but shows others the way
without showing. This is what the Tao Ti Ching is. It is an invitation to follow and
explore, not a text book on how to.

The eighty one chapters of the Tao Ti Ching are fascinating. They are not to be read once.
Each time there will be a little more added to understanding. Every time is the first time
and each time helps to understand the elusive Way a little more with the knowledge that
the ultimate Way will always remain beyond our understanding. The best we can do is to
live as best we can in unison with everything God has created. If we could master the
way completely we walk this earth causing no damage and nobody would even know we
had been here.

We might not make much of an impression on Wall Street but we would be as one with
God and life would work with us, not against us. If we support all life, Life supports us
completely.