Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 12
This Over That

Perceptions create the illusion
Of a solid world
And can blind, deafen, & dull
Non-duality and Egolessness.
Chasing fame, fortune, pleasure & power
Only drives us crazy
While the race for riches
Just creates more crime.

So the wise understand
The sense, not just the words
Choosing reality over illusion;
This over that.

Commentary

“Empty words are evil.”

Odysseus Ὀδυσσεύς via Homer
(Ulysses)
c. 1100 BCE
Trickster lineage hero and symbol
from Odyssey, Ὀδύσσεια

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“Reality is now, all at once, one and continuous, not divisible, never any more or less of it and nothing that could stop it holding together but always alike and full of what is.”

Parmenides via Shan Dao
540 – 450 BCE
Grandfather of Western philosophy
from On Nature

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“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”

Socrates
469 – 399 BCE
One of the most powerful influences on Western Civilization

Themes: Beauty Power

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“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”

Plato Πλάτων
428 – 348 BCE

Themes: Beauty

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“Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨
(Daruma)
5th-6th C. CE

Themes: Wisdom

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“My fair girl will be drunken soon with her blushed cheeks… it cheats us and steals away. Rise and dance! The sun is fading!”

Li Bai 李白
(Li Bo)
701 – 762 CE

Themes: Sex

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“Armed with the sword of undying awareness, I conquer my enemies, the demons of the 3 realms.”

Khaḍgapa ཁཌྒ་པ། via Keith Dowman
("The Fearless Thief")
10th century CE
Mahasiddha #15
from Masters of Mahamudra

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“become a child of illusion.”

Atisha ཨ་ཏི་ཤ་མར་མེ་མཛད་དཔལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ via Chögyam Trungpa
(Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna)
980 – 1054 CE
from Seven Points of Mind Training, Lojong བློ་སྦྱོངས་དོན་བདུན་མ;

Themes: Illusion

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“The unsurpassable protection of emptiness is to see the manisfestations of bewilderment as the four kayas.”

Atisha ཨ་ཏི་ཤ་མར་མེ་མཛད་དཔལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་
(Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna)
980 – 1054 CE

Themes: Emptiness

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“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”

Teresa of Avila
1515 – 1582 CE
from Way of Perfection

Themes: Love

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“Better to be tentative than to be recklessly sure - to be an apprentice at sixty, than to present oneself as a doctor at ten.”

Montaigne
1533 – 1592 CE

Themes: Doubt

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“There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.”

Montaigne
1533 – 1592 CE

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“When the mind is given free rein in the realm of thought, it no longer knows what is real.”

Deqing
(Te-Ch’ing)
1546 – 1623 CE

Themes: Reality

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“Love, built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.”

John Donne
1572 – 1631 CE
from Songs and Sonnets

Themes: Beauty Love

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“I have never found any who prayed so well as those who had never been taught how”

Madame Guyon Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon via Thomas Taylor Allen
1648 – 1717 CE
from Autobiography of Madame Guyon

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“Practice contemplation in action by combining flexibility with firmness, solidity with openness, and returning the nonexistent to existence.”

Liu Yiming 刘一明 via Thomas Cleary, Shan Dao, #53 Gradual Progress
(Liu I-ming)
1734 – 1821 CE
from Taoist I Ching, , Zhouyi chanzhen 周易闡真

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“All theory is gray, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832 CE
from Faust, part I

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“Everything great glitters, glitter begets ambition, and ambition can easily have caused the inspiration or what we thought to be inspiration.”

Karl Marx
1818 – 1883 CE

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“I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody too? Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know.”

Emily Dickinson
1830 – 1886 CE

Themes: Egolessness

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“One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a women is, until after considerable acquaintance with her.”

Mark Twain
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
1835 – 1910 CE

Themes: Beauty

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“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.”

Marcel Proust
1871 – 1922 CE
from Rembrance of Things Past

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“Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.”

Winston Churchill
1874 – 1965 CE

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“We are evolution.”

Teilhard de Chardin via Bernard Wall
1881 – 1955 CE
from Phenomenon of Man

Themes: Evolution

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“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.”

A.A. Milne
(Alan Alexander Milne)
1882 – 1956 CE
from Winnie the Pooh

Themes: Love

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“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Beauty

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“Your thighs are apple trees. Your knees are a southern breeze.”

William Carlos Williams
1883 – 1963 CE
from In the American Grain

Themes: Beauty

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“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
1884 – 1962 CE

Themes: Old Age Beauty

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“The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…”

B.R. Ambedkar
(Babasaheb)
1891 – 1956 CE

Themes: Change Buddhism

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“Specialization is in fact only a fancy form of slavery wherein the ‘expert’ is fooled into accepting a slavery.”

Buckminster Fuller
1895 – 1983 CE

Themes: Slavery

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“Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.”

Eric Fromm
1900 – 1980 CE
from Art of Loving

Themes: Love

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“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
1904 – 1971 CE

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“This mind, unlike enlightened mind, is always being carried away by one delusion after another.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ། via Matthieu Ricard
1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Journey to Enlightenment

Themes: Delusion Mind

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“Our heads are round so thought can change direction.”

Allen Ginsberg
1926 – 1997 CE

Themes: Change Reason

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“he won’t admit it; he lies because he won’t look straight, he’s not interested in what’s true, in what is; he can’t see anything except his mind – his ideas of what ought to be.”

Ursula Le Guin
1929 – 2018 CE

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“and then there was the vast openness of open space and that vast openness was I , myself”

Gesshin Myoko Roshi
1931 – 1999 CE

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“I think I am, therefore, I am. I think.”

George Carlin
1937 – 2008 CE
One of the most influential social commentators of his time

Themes: Know Yourself

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“Meditation in action is… awareness of how we... create our basic perceptions out of our preconceptions… and the games going on do not become big games but simply illusory games.”

Chögyam Trungpa
1939 – 1987 CE
from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

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“Whenever you need reassurance, that means you have a fixed idea of what ought to be.”

Chögyam Trungpa
1939 – 1987 CE
from Illusion's Game

Themes: Anonymity

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“A pretty face may last a year or two; but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do.”

John Lennon
1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: Beauty Marriage

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“I would also add that ‘this’ also refers to what is within easy reach, while ‘that’ refers to what can be obtained only with effort.”

Red Pine or Bill Porter
1943 CE –

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“Clinging to the fallacy of the self is a ridiculous act of ignorance that… permeates everything we do, see, and experience… our whole existence is based on very flimsy premises.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ།
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
1961 CE –
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Egolessness

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“Humor allows us to see that ultimately things don’t make sense.”

Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche ཛི་གར་ཀོང་སྤྲུལ།
1964 CE –

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