Lao Tzu Rejuvenated

Lao Tsu, Lao Tse, Lao Zi  mean “Old Teacher”… Or “Old Master”. Teachers are very respected in China, and have been very respected, for 26 centuries (Mao would add forcefully: ‘all too respected’). “Tse”, “Master” is used routinely, from primary school on, with the appropriate concentrated respect.

(Lao Tse, Tzu, or Zi? it all depends how you transliterate the Chinese sound for “teacher”, using Latin, or Anglo-Saxon pronunciation). Here is my running commentary of one of Lao Tse’s most famous poems (chapter 33), from the  foundational text, Tao Te Ching:

***

Lao Tse: “Knowing others is intelligent. Knowing yourself is enlightenment.”

Enlighten the world you thought you knew, with a more faithful reality,

Teaches cosmic humility,

Tells you a world about how you think,

What makes you tick, and how you err.

So enlighten yourself, with learning, about learning,

And from appraising, what does not hurt,

About the world, and cosmos, inside out,

Not forgetting those old errors in fact, thought, deed, mood and feel, once held to be the truth.

If you want to know yourself, learn to travel the world, the world of thought, of moods unchained,

Lao Tse: 26 Centuries Young. Yet Wisdom Has To Grow Now As Never Before

Lao Tse: 26 Centuries Young. Yet Wisdom Has To Grow Now As Never Before

Learn to master yourself, as you learn to know and master, all what is out there,

And the more exotic, the better.

Learn how you got, how one gets, out of yesterday’s logical and emotional boxes.

Lao Tzu: “Bending the world to your will, takes force. Willing yourself to bend is true power.”

Yet you shall not bend so much that, you cannot stand straight anymore,

Yet you shall not bend,

To empower those infamous ones whom wild abandonment to cruelty drives,

To degenerate into their obsequious, all so very serious servant.

Warlords, bankers, legal tax cheats, plutocrats, generals, fanatics, money changers,

Ought not to be allowed to rule states, heavens, and Earth,

Grow ever more powerful, call it democracy, chuckling, joining insult, injury,

To humiliation and dehumanization.

It takes force to be a master, and weakness to be a servant.

Both are addictive. Learn about neurohormones, and how the organs which produce them grow.

Do not reward others’ violence with your abject, decerebrating submission.

Tolerating violence goes hand in hand, with applying it viciously.

Letting it happen, or happening to let it be, a crime either way.

Man was born free, and carries chains willingly,

Because it’s easier to feel, exist, blossom and thrive as a servant,

Just kissing the mighty’s dirty feet, celebrating that as fortitude,

Never making the effort of mustering the will, and wits, to rule over goodness.

Do not abuse of either force, violence, surrender, or submission.

Anger and humility have their use, but it is no use to religiously avoid either, as a matter of principle.

Principle can be intelligent, wise, kind, and helpful,

Yet only when it is best adapted to improving the situation at hand.

Lao Tzu: “Succeeding in the world yields riches. Being content with what is yields wealth.”

Yet the meaning of success is to be questioned,

While we should not forget,

That the planet is a garden,

And our forlorn species the fateful gardener,

Since well before cities rose, and domesticated species fed, protected, and dressed us.

There is nothing supernatural, but for man, who is above the world,

Just as the mind is above the body.

Lao Tzu wanted to: “Apply Tao to the physical world and you will have a long life.”

Long life is dear, yet other values are dearest.

The Tao, at the very least, all of human ethology includes,

While the longest life we have is that of human values,

As incarnated with said human ethology.

Thus the Dao itself is the life, which our species aspire to.

Lao Tzu wanted us to: “See past the physical world to the enduring presence of Tao and death will lose its meaning.”

Yet, we are the physical world,

So strong, that we think about it.

We can see past ourselves though, this is what the best of our ancestors,

Have always done, and what we are meant to do, be it just to live life to the fullest.

Lao Tzu hopes to kill death.

However, if death loses its meaning, don’t we lose something?

What is the ultimate test of strength?

If not the avoidance of death?

Humanity is a strength that goes. It needs its challenges.

Any claim it ought to be otherwise,

Surrenders to the Darkest Side, the exact opposite of what man is.

Fight nature if you wish, but pick your fights.

Of all the nature there is,

That of man is the hardest.

Be forewarned.

Patrice Ayme’

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9 Responses to “Lao Tzu Rejuvenated”

  1. Gloucon X Says:

    The lines after the quotes are so remarkable and wise that I thought they were also from Lao Tzu. Thanks for your excellent writings.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thank you very very much, Oh Gloucon X! From now on your comments will get published instantaneously (not kidding). In any case, having renounced more earthly pursuits, compliments are the (second) main motivator for this site (the first one being trying to say things which are not said, and which I consider valuable). Actually, compliments incite me to become more adventurous and daring. Without implying that I am worth encouraging, it is a fact that past thinkers published their thoughts because they were adventurous and daring. As I already said my aim is not material advantage, so compliments are important. Anyway, I have been holding back the poetry angle for decades, from self consciousness, but I came to the conclusion poetry, and only poetry enables one to say some things, many things.

      Poetry is to logic what the future is to the present.
      PA

  2. gmax Says:

    In one poem, you cover more material than in the entire Dao Te Ching.

    BTW once you said there was a connection between Dao and Lamarck, the inventor of biology, the name, and evolution, the theory. Care to elaborate? Something about a complexity force

  3. indravaruna Says:

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2010/12/the-evil-among-us-liam-neeson-in-taken-2/

    This movie was written by a Neocon NYC Jew, Robert Mark Kamen to Slander France.

    • gmax Says:

      Lots of those around Neoconservatives hate France, and many are Jews. It makes no sense. I don’t get it. France has always been full of Jews. Plus France was the force for establishing Israel. So why such hatred? Any idea? Seriously asking, girls want to know! 😉

      • indravaruna Says:

        Opposition to the Iraq War, pro-Palestine.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I also think that they have a hard interpretation of Zionism, which includes the so-called “American Century”. The hatred of “some” people in New York against the French is anterior by decades to the 2003 conflict. I cringed just thinking to what I heard earlier.
          I think it’s the very fact that French policy has long been (partly) led by Jews (some were presidents, PM, and also foreign minister as the all-powerful Fabius right now), which makes France so scary to Neoconservatives, as France represents another way to make sustainable Judaism….

  4. Paul Handover Says:

    Such deep wisdom offered up in the most beautiful words. Worthy of being read to oneself every day of one’s life.

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