September 11-A, 2022

The Cypress Pond 01-B 11/04/1999 Oil Paint Rendered — Down East, North Carolina
There are four classic texts of Taoism:
The Lao-tzu (AKA The Tao Te Ching),
The Chuang-tzu,
The Wen-tzu,
and the Lieh-tzu.

These were all put together between
500 BCE and 400 CE.

Somewhere within that period,
the following was attributed to Lieh-tzu:

"The sage Wen-tzu said, 
'Someone who knows how to withdraw
when his work is finished
is one who understands the way of heaven.
He has no quarrel with the world,
and whatever he does follows 
the natural order of things.

'Therefore, the enlightened person
does not need eyes to see the Way.
This is because the Way cannot be
grasped with your senses and thoughts.

'Look for it in front
and it will sneak behind you.
Seek it with good intentions
and it is everywhere.

'If you are insincere,
it will never reveal itself.

'Is something that you cannot 
use your intellect to attain,
and if you are not serious,
it will also escape you.

'Only in naturalness can the Way
be attained.

'And after you have attained it,
only in naturalness can it be kept.

'Knowing the truth of things
and yet not clutching to the truth,
knowing how to act
and not using effort to do it,
is the mark of a sage.

'If you pretend to know 
or not to know,
pretend to do
or not to do,
you are just like a pile of dirt.
It sits there doing nothing.
And it is also worth nothing.'"

(Quoted from "The Lieh-Tzu" by Eva Wong).

From 400 BCE.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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