A Fool's-Eye View

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two: Understanding.

What is it, to understand a thing?
It is to stand under a thing.
Standing under can be called humility,
and with humility comes understanding.

The ocean stands lower than the world.
Thus it is humble.
Men sail upon it, seeking themselves,
and are humbled by its power.
Humbling themselves before the humble,
they are doubly blessed.
They come to understand the ocean;
the ocean comes to understand them.

The Tao stands under everything;
thus everything is understood.
This is the great mystery.

How hard we try to understand what understanding is:

Standing under a thing, we gain a new perspective upon it. If
we only stand back and study, what can we really know? To fully
understand a thing, we must, in fact, become the thing. This is far
easier if we move as close as possible to the thing. And stand
under it. This is humility...

Humility puts itself beneath - under - a thing or a being.
Humility is a state to strive for, since it opens us to whatever
is, as opposed to whatever might have been, if only we had been
more humble.

We do not think of God as being humble.
Yet God, like the Tao, makes no claims for Himself / itself.
Only religions claim that God is this or that.

If you would understand, then stand under.


  1. Wow, this sounds like Tao 61 (not me, you know), but the verse.

  2. I like the imagery of the ocean.
    This is how I felt while alone upon it for weeks.
    Few experiences in life are more real than that.


Comments are welcome, while remembering:
Taoism is all about balance, thus:
Politics are not part of taoism.