the tao - lao tzu
This ancient wisdom comes from Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosophical master. Personally, I wrote all the verses down, to help them become embedded into my consciousness.
"A good travel has no fixed destination, and is not intent on arriving." -Lao Tzu
A powerful legend recounts the story of how Lao Tzu came to write the text. When he was 80 years of age, in a state of despair over the social chaos and strife in war-torn China, he decided to seek solitude.
Riding on a water buffalo, he began the long journey towards what is now Tibet. At the Hankao Pass on the western border of China, a gatekeeper by the name of Yin Xi stopped Lao Tzu and requested that he record his wisdom and teachings before he left, lest they be lost forever. Lao Tzu agreed, turned away from the gates and returned a few days later with the “five thousand characters,” which would become known as the Tao Te Ching. Then, Lao Tzu passed through the gates, never to be seen again.
A central theme of the Tao Te Ching is the nature of the relationship between the two principles that govern the universe, Yin and Yang. Traditionally, Yin is associated with “feminine” qualities such as intuition, softness, water and the moon, and is passive, static and contracting. Conversely, Yang is associated with “masculine” qualities including intellect, hardness, physical matter and the sun, and is active, dynamic and expansive. Although they appear to be binary opposites, in reality Yin and Yang are reverse aspects of the same thing. The two are inextricably one, and cannot exist apart from each other. In that sense, Yin and Yang represent the perfect symmetry of the universe – everything must have its reverse, for without darkness there can be no light.
It is the interplay between Yin and Yang that allows for movement and change and creates the eternal rhythm of life. Night gives way to day, winter gives way to spring, and so the wheel of life turns infinitely. To understand the principles of Yin and Yang is to understand the interconnectedness of all things, and to begin to see ourselves not as separate and isolated, but as interconnected fragments of a single unified and all-encompassing whole. It is from this recognition of ourselves as parts of the Universal Oneness of everything that virtue, integrity and goodness spring.