August 16th, 2005

2. Abstraction

When beauty is abstracted
Then ugliness has been implied;
When good is abstracted
Then evil has been implied.

So alive and dead are abstracted from nature,
Difficult and easy abstracted from progress,
Long and short abstracted from contrast,
High and low abstracted from depth,
Song and speech abstracted from melody,
After and before abstracted from sequence.

The sage experiences without abstraction,
And accomplishes without action;
He accepts the ebb and flow of things,
Nurtures them, but does not own them,
And lives, but does not dwell.
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And by request, since it's just that awesome - The Tao in Layman's terms as well!

2.

If something looks beautiful to you,
something else must be ugly.
If something seems good,
something else must seem bad.

You can't have
something without nothing.
If no job is difficult,
then no job is easy.
Some things are up high
because other things are down low.
You know you're listening to music
because it doesn't sound like noise.
All that came first,
so this must be next.

The Masters get the job done
without moving a muscle
and get their point across
without saying a word.

When things around them fall apart,
they stay cool.
They don't own much,
but they use whatever's at hand.
They do the work
without expecting any favors.
When they're done,
they move on to the next job.
That's why their work is so damn good.