May 28th, 2010



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 14

Gaze at it,  there is nothing to see.
It is called the formless.
Heed it, there is nothing to hear.
It is called the soundless.
Grasp it, there is nothing to hold on to.
It is called the immaterial.
We cannot inquire into these three,
Hence they interfuse into one.
Above, it is not light,
Below, it is not dark.
Invisible, it cannot be called by any name.
It returns again to nothingness.
Thus we call it the form of the formless.
It is the evasive.
Approach it, you cannot see its face.
Go after it, you cannot see its back.
Adhere to the Tao of the remote past,
And apply it to the present.
This will enable you to understand the primordial beginning.
This is the essential Tao.

             Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.