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    2.11.2007 ||>   The Tao of Sunday, Chapter XXXI

    Weapons are the tools of violence;
    all decent men detest them.

    Weapons are the tools of fear;
    a decent man will avoid them
    except in the direst necessity
    and, if compelled, will use them
    only with the utmost restraint.
    Peace is his highest value.
    If the peace has been shattered,
    how can he be content?
    His enemies are not demons,
    but human beings like himself.
    He doesn't wish them personal harm.
    Nor does he rejoice in victory.
    How could he rejoice in victory
    and delight in the slaughter of men?

    He enters a battle gravely,
    with sorrow and with great compassion,
    as if he were attending a funeral.
    Around 2003, I wrote a post quoting Ben Franklin's "There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace." Of course I had someone still living in a neo-con wet dream flame me on my own blog and tell me how wrong, wrong, wrong I was. Of course then, so was Ben. And I guess, from this quote, Lao Tzu.

    This passage reminds me of when I went to Sea World in Florida and there were all these Budweiser ads doing their "support the war" shtick. And I looked around me and noticed that no one here in the US is really suffering from our invasion of Iraq. No one was collecting nylon or rationing food. In fact, we are as fully fed as ever. We are so removed from the suffering in this war that we are okay with sending other citizens to get killed and maimed while we buy yellow ribbon magnets for our cars.

    We are so far from the way.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 9:15:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    1.26.2007 ||>   The Tao of Friday, Chapter VI

    The Tao is called the Great Mother:
    empty yet inexhaustible,
    it gives birth to infinite worlds.

    It is always present within you.
    You can use it any way you want.
    I think of the goddess like this. She is eternal and always available as long her children have the desire to reach out.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 1:31:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    1.19.2007 ||>   The Tao of Friday, Chapter IV

    The Tao is like a well:
    used but never used up.
    It is like the eternal void:
    filled with infinite possibilities.

    It is hidden but always present.
    I don't know who gave birth to it.
    It is older than God.
    In Hindu mysticism, you reach and attain certian levels before being truly enlightened, or rather together with your true self. One of those levels is to surpass wild, untamed nature. I think of the Chinese philosophers taking a different tack in this passage and embracing it in order to find the true nature of things.

    As a follower of an earth-based religion, I find that I am closer in my beliefs to the latter rather than the former tradition. Perhaps to find yourself, you need to tap into the wild, never-ending power of nature to be closer to god.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 7:44:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    1.15.2007 ||>   The Tao of Friday (on Monday), Chapter III

    Thank you Dirty D and Serenity for the comments. I'm leaning more towards a Mac at this point, but you definitely brought up some good points. Mac does have a program that will split the operating system so that you can have Windows on a Mac, which I will definitely get if I buy one.

    I went to New York this weekend, and early at that and had no time to blog. I like doing excerpts of the Tao on Fridays because it's easy and I really like the Tao Te Ching. I didn't do one last week, so allow me to do one today and another on Friday. After this crazy weekend, I think I need the spiritual calmness.

    If you overesteem great men,
    people become powerless.
    If you overvalue possessions,
    people begin to steal.

    The Master leads
    by emptying people's minds
    and filling their cores,
    by weakening their ambition
    and toughening their resolve.
    He helps people lose everything
    they know, everything they desire,
    and creates confusion
    in those who think that they know.

    Practice not-doing,
    and everything will fall into place.
    This chapter reminds me alot of attachment. If you focus so much on one thing, you become so consumed with it, that it impedes you mentally and spiritually. Once you lose these attachments and empty your mind of the distraction, you will be stronger.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 2:31:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    1.05.2007 ||>   The Tao of Friday, Chapter I

    The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    The unnamable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.

    Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.

    Darkness within darkness.
    The gateway to all understanding.
    One aspect of religion that has always spoken to me is the idea that god is unknowable. One of my favorite lines from religion class was "God is a drunken sailor." Because you can say that god is anything, or nothing. You can say god is an old grandfather looking through curtains, or a kindly earth mother.

    But something and its name are not the same thing. Once you get beyond names and into the reality past that, you arrive closer to the truth.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 1:12:00 PM || Site Feed ||

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    8.25.2006 ||>   Tao Friday XXV

    There was something formless and perfect
    before the universe was born.
    It is serene. Empty.
    Solitary. Unchanging.
    Infinite. Eternally present.
    It is the mother of the universe.
    For lack of a better name,
    I call it the Tao.

    It flows through all things,
    inside and outside, and returns
    to the origin of all things.

    The Tao is great.
    The universe is great.
    Earth is great.
    Man is great.
    These are the four great powers.

    Man follows the earth.
    Earth follows the universe.
    The universe follows the Tao.
    The Tao follows only itself.
    In the negative view of religion (or via negativa, to those who want to sound smart) god is formless and incomprehensible. Saying "God is a drunken sailor" is about as accurate as saying that god is anything else. This chapter gives an interesting perspective on that. There is no god, and yet there is a god. But we don't know what he/she/it is, so we can only say it is a "force." And we name it "Tao" because we humans need to name things.

    So it's also commenting on our own psychology. Or maybe I don't know what I am writing about.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 7:15:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    8.18.2006 ||>   The Tao of Friday V

    The Tao doesn't take sides;
    it gives birth to both good and evil.
    The Master doesn't take sides;
    she welcomes both saints and sinners.

    The Tao is like a bellows:
    it is empty yet infinitely capable.
    The more you use it, the more it produces;
    the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

    Hold on to the center.
    If there were a "Tao of Partisanship," this would be chapter 1 instead of chapter 5.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 8:39:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    8.04.2006 ||>   The Tao of Friday, Chapter II

    When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad.

    Being and non-being create each other.
    Difficult and easy support each other.
    Long and short define each other.
    High and low depend on each other.
    Before and after follow each other.

    Therefore the Master
    acts without doing anything
    and teaches without saying anything.
    Things arise and she lets them come;
    things disappear and she lets them go.
    She has but doesn't possess,
    acts but doesn't expect.
    When her work is done, she forgets it.
    That is why it lasts forever.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 6:48:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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    7.28.2006 ||>   The Tao of Friday

    Fame or integrity: which is more important?
    Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
    Success of failure: which is more destructive?

    If you look to others for fulfillment,
    you will never truly be fulfilled.
    If your happiness depends on money,
    you will never be happy with yourself.

    Be content with what you have;
    rejoice in the way things are.
    When you realize there is nothing lacking,
    the whole world belongs to you.
    - Lao Tsu, Chapter 44
    One day grasshopper, you will take the pebbles from my hand.


    Sepra was livin' easy on 9:58:00 AM || Site Feed ||

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