Nothing to See, Nothing to Hear, So Much to Use

She who is centered in the Tao
can go where she wishes, without danger.
She perceives the universal harmony,
even amid great pain,
because she has found peace in her heart.

Music or the smell of good cooking
may make people stop and enjoy.
But words that point to the Tao
seem monotonous and without flavor.
When you look for it, there is nothing to see.
When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear.
When you use it, it is inexhaustible.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 35, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Nothing to See, Nothing to Hear, So Much to Use

Sometimes I wish there was something to show you, or for you to listen to, to make the Tao stand out for you. But, the Tao offers us nothing of the sort. It isn’t like music, or the smell of good cooking, to make people stop and enjoy it. Words that point to the Tao seem monotonous, and without flavor. The Tao, itself, can’t be perceived. When you look for it, there is nothing to see. When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear.

And, that right there is a problem many will never manage to overcome. They will walk away laughing out loud at our foolishness. But it is their own foolishness, their own pride, their own will to power, which keeps them from centering themselves in, and using the Tao.

If only they would, if only they could, they would find such peace in their hearts. It is inexhaustible. This is the way to avoid all danger. To go wherever you wish, perceiving the universal harmony. That, can be perceived, even in the midst of great pain, if you will humble yourself and stay centered in it.

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