The great Tao flows everywhere.
All things are born from it,
yet it doesn't create them.
It pours itself into its work,
yet it makes no claim.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn't hold on to them.
Since it is merged with all things
and hidden in their hearts,
it can be called humble.
Since all things vanish into it
and it alone endures,
it can be called great.
It isn't aware of its greatness;
thus it is truly great.
|Pond, Parc de Montsouris, Paris, June, 2006|
|Turtle on the same pond of Parc de Montsouris|
|My footprints in the sand, Donabate, summer 2006|
Is it any wonder, then, that the essence or quintessence (that fifth element!) of life, the very Tao is imaginatively described as having the attributes of water, that it "flows," that it "pours itself into its (creative) work," "it nourishes infinite worlds." and yet it does not hold on to them; rather it lets them go to flourish on their own. Like water, the Tao does not cling onto things, it flows through and by them and lets all things go.
Indeed, all things, our Taoist poet tells us, vanishes into the Tao, and s/he reliably tells us that it alone will endure forever. Interestingly, and paradoxically, our author believes that the Tao is not conscious of his/her/its own greatness.
Once again, by way of conclusion please read over the above poem and let a line, a phrase or a word suggest itself as a mantra for five minutes meditation.