Tao Thought: Tree
Partial means whole
crooked means straight
hollow means full
worn-out means new
less means content
more means confused
thus the sage holds onto the one
to use in guiding the world
not watching himself he appears
not displaying himself he succeeds
not parading himself he leads
because he doesn't complete
no one can compete against him
the ancients who said partial means whole
came close indeed
becoming whole depends on this
translated by Red Pine
When will we give up the artificiality of our tiresome lives and leave instead to what is natural? All the achievements of man are only monuments to overwhelming pride. There has not been a single man-made item that has been a necessary improvement to the earth. Did we need the Great Wall of China? Did we need the pyramids of Egypt? Did we need the Colossus of Rhodes? Did we need mechanism, steam power, electricity, nuclear power, or computer technology? All our achievements have been for the sake of our exclusive comfort and gratification. We have only advanced the mad tangle of supply and demand that we call civilization.
Did you measure to attain your height?
Did you use geometry to radiate your limbs?
Did you lament storm-torn branches?
Did you inventory your leaves for the sun?
You did none of these things, yet man in his
Cannot match your perfection.
We don't need all this "sophistication" in order to live with Tao. Our involvement in society blinds us to this fact. We ignore the natural order of our own bodies and minds and close ourselves to the point that only sex and drugs are stimulating enough. We lament that we are lost and alienated. Ironically, the answers are right nearby. If you just go to the nearest tree and contemplate, you will easily see the secret to natural living.
by Deng Ming-Dao
from the book 365 Tao
“root to stem to bloom to tree to sky”
where would we be
without art and language?
(just a transcriber's thought... )
does art create the world?
does language imitate or initiate thought?
illusionfor a short reading list of Taoist and Zen material, please go to
(duckdaotsu receives a small monetary contribution
if you purchase books from this listing)
to subscribe to the daily Taoist meditations,
please send an email to "duckdaotsu"
and write SUBSCRIBE TAO in the subject line.
archived at http://www.duckdaotsu.org/sep06/tree.html
visit my online shop! at http://www.cafepress.com/duckdaotsu
request any graphic you see here to be used on any item
in the online store or as a photographic print for framing