September 27th, 2009

goban
  • trevoke

14

Look, it cannot be seen - it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard - it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held - it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.

From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.

Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.
-
-
You can't see Tao,
no matter how hard you look.
You can't hear Tao,
no matter how hard you listen.
You can't hold on to Tao,
no matter how hard you grab.

But it's there.

It's in you, and it's all around you.

Remember that.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.

Chapter fourteen: Celebrating mystery

Look at it: nothing to see.
Call it colorless.
Listen to it: nothing to hear.
Call it soundless.
Reach for it: nothing to hold.
Call it intangible.

Triply undifferentiated,
it merges into oneness,
not bright above,
nor dark below.

Never, oh! never
can it be named.
It reverts, it returns
to unbeing.
Call it the form of the unformed,
the image of no image.

Call it unthinkable thought.
Face it, no face.
Follow it, no end.

Holding fast to the old Way,
we can live in the present.
Mindful of the ancient beginnings,
we hold the thread of the Tao.

Ursula Le Guin, 1998.   Collapse )