By Lao Tzu
(Translated by Brian Walker)
OneI reach the Integral Way of uniting with the great and mysterious Tao. My teachings are simple; if you try to make a religion or science of them, they will elude you. Profound yet plain, they contain the entire truth of the universe. Those who wish to know the whole truth take joy in doing the work and service that comes to them. Having completed it, they take joy in cleansing and feeding themselves. Having cared for others and for themselves, they then turn to the master for instruction. This simple path leads to peace, virtue, and abundance.
TwoMen and women who wish to be aware of the whole truth should adopt the practices of the Integral Way. These time-honored disciplines calm the mind and bring one into harmony with all things. The first practice is the practice of undiscriminating virtue: take care of those who are deserving; also, and equally, take care of those who are not. When you extend your virtue in all directions without discriminating, your feet are firmly planted on the path that returns to the Tao.
ThreeThose who wish to embody the Tao should embrace all things. To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless. Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao. To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation; male and female, self and other, life and death. Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao. Foregoing antagonism and separation, one enters in the harmonious oneness of all things.
FourEvery departure from the Tao contaminates one's spirit. Anger is a departure, resistance a departure, self- absorption a departure. Over many lifetimes the burden of contaminations can become great. There is only one way to cleanse oneself of these contaminations, and that is to practice virtue. What is meant by this? To practice virtue is to selflessly offer assistance to others, giving without limitation one's time, abilities, and possessions in service, whenever and wherever needed, without prejudice concerning the identity of those in need. If your willingness to give blessings is limited, so also is your ability to receive them. This is the subtle operation of the Tao.
FiveDo you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and took out at the stars. This practice should answer the question. The superior person settles her mind as the universe settles the stars in the sky. By connecting her mind with the subtle origin, she calms it. Once calmed, it naturally expands, and ultimately her mind becomes as vast and immeasurable as the night sky.
SixThe Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own. If you attempt to fix a picture of it in your mind, you will lose it. This is like pinning a butterfly: the husk is captured, but the flying is lost. Why not be content with simply experiencing it?
SevenThe teaching of the Integral Way will go on as long as there is a Tao and someone who wishes to embody it; What is painted in these scrolls today will appear in different forms in many generations to come. These things, however, will never change: Those who wish to attain oneness must practice undiscriminating virtue. They must dissolve all ideas of duality: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, high and low. They will be obliged to abandon any mental bias born of cultural or religious belief. Indeed, they should hold their minds free of any thought which interferes with their understanding of the universe as a harmonious oneness. The beginning of these practices is the beginning of liberation.
EightI confess that there is nothing to teach: no religion, no science, no body of information which will lead your mind back to the Tao. Today I speak in this fashion, tomorrow in another, but always the Integral Way is beyond words and beyond mind. Simply be aware of the oneness of things.
NineHe who desires the admiration of the world will do well to amass a great fortune and then give it away. The world will respond with admiration in proportion to the size of his treasure. Of course, this is meaningless. Stop striving after admiration. Place your esteem on the Tao. Live in accord with it, share with others the teachings that lead to it, and you will be immersed in the blessings that flow from it.
TenThe ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle: Totally fascinated by the realm of the senses, it swings from one desire to the next, one conflict to the next, one self-centered idea to the next. If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life. Let this monkey go. Let the senses go. Let desires go. Let conflicts go. Let ideas go. Let the fiction of life and death go. Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.
ElevenDoes one scent appeal more than another? Do you prefer this flavor, or that feeling? Is your practice sacred and your work profane? Then your mind is separated: from itself, from oneness, from the Tao. Keep your mind free of divisions and distinctions. When your mind is detached, simple, quiet, then all things can exist in harmony, and you can begin to perceive the subtle truth.
TwelveDo you wish to inhabit sacred space? To have the respect and companionship of the highest spiritual beings? To be protected by the guardians of the eight powerful energy rays? Then cherish the Integral Way: Regard these teachings with reverence, practice their truths, illuminate them to others. You will receive as many blessings from the universe as there are grains of sand in the River of Timelessness.
ThirteenThe tiny particles which form the vast universe are not tiny at all. Neither is the vast universe vast. These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife, always chipping away at the Tao, trying to render it graspable and manageable. But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable. There is, however, this consolation: She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her fingertips.
FourteenCan you dissolve your ego? Can you abandon the idea of self and other? Can you relinquish the notions of male and female, short and long, life and death? Can you let go of all these dualities and embrace the Tao without skepticism or panic? If so, you can reach the heart of the Integral Oneness. Along the way, avoid thinking of the Oneness as unusual, exalted, sublime, transcendental. Because it is the Oneness, it is beyond all that. It is simply the direct, essential, and complete truth.
FifteenTo the ordinary being, others often require tolerance. To the highly evolved being, there is no such thing as tolerance, because there is no such thing as other. She has given up all ideas of individuality and extended her goodwill without prejudice in every direction. Never hating, never resisting, never contesting, she is simply always learning and being. Loving, hating, having expectations: all these are attachments. Attachment prevents the growth of one's true being. Therefore the integral being is attached to nothing and can relate to everyone with an unstructured attitude. Because of this, her very existence benefits all things. You see, that which has form is equal to that which is without form, and that which is alive is equal to that which rests. This is the subtle truth, not a religious invention, but only those who are already highly evolved will understand this.
SixteenMost of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness. The highest virtue one can exercise is to accept the responsibility of discovering and transmitting the whole truth. Some help others in order to receive blessings and admiration. This is simply meaningless. Some cultivate themselves in part to serve others, in part to serve their own pride. They will understand, at best, half of the truth. But those who improve themselves for the sake of the world--to these, the whole truth of the universe will be revealed. So seek this whole truth, practice it in your daily life, and humbly share it with others. You will enter the realm of the divine.
SeventeenDo not go about worshipping deities and religious institutions as the source of the subtle truth To do so is to place intermediaries between yourself and the divine, and to make of yourself a beggar who looks outside for a treasure that is hidden inside his own breast. If you want to worship the Tao, first discover it in your own heart. Then your worship will be meaningful.
EighteenThere is no one method for attaining realization of the Tao. To regard any method as the method is to create a duality, which can only delay your understanding of the subtle truth. The mature person perceives the fruitlessness of rigid, external methodologies; Remembering this, he keeps his attitude unstructured at all times and thus is always free to pursue the Integral Way. He studies the teachings of the masters. He dissolves all concepts of duality. He pours himself out in service to others. He performs his inner cleansing and does not disturb his teacher with unnecessary entanglements, thus preserving the subtle spiritual connection with the teacher's divine energy. Gently eliminating all obstacles to his own understanding, he constantly maintains his unconditional sincerity. His humility, perseverance, and adaptability evoke the response of the universe and fill him with divine light.
NineteenTo the ordinary person, the body of humanity seems vast. In truth, it is neither bigger nor smaller than anything else. To the ordinary person, there are others whose awareness needs raising. In truth, there is no self, and no other. To the ordinary person, the temple is sacred and the field is not. This, too, is a dualism which runs counter to the truth. Those who are highly evolved maintain an undiscriminating perception. Seeing everything, labeling nothing, they maintain their awareness of the Great Oneness. Thus they are supported by it.
TwentyThe clairvoyant may see forms which are elsewhere, but he cannot see the formless. The telepathic may communicate directly with the mind of another, but he cannot communicate with one who has achieved no-mind. The telekinetic may move an object without touching it, but he cannot move the intangible. Such abilities have meaning only in the realm of duality. Therefore, they are meaningless. Within the Great Oneness, though there is no such thing as clairvoyance, telepathy, or telekinesis, all things are seen, all things understood, all things forever in their proper places.
Twenty-OneEach moment is fragile and fleeting. The moment of the past cannot be kept, however beautiful. The moment of the present cannot be held, however enjoyable. The moment of the future cannot be caught, however desirable. But the mind is desperate to fix the river in place: Possessed by ideas of the past, preoccupied with images of the future, it overlooks the plain truth of the moment. The one who can dissolve her mind will suddenly discover the Tao at her feet, and clarity at hand.
Twenty-TwoHow can the divine Oneness be seen? In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe- inspiring miracles? The Tao is not obliged to present itself this way. It is always present and always available. When speech is exhausted and mind dissolved, it presents itself. When clarity and purity are cultivated, it reveals itself. When sincerity is unconditional, it unveils itself. If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere, even in the most ordinary things.
Twenty-ThreeThe highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.
Twenty-FourSubtle awareness of the truth of the universe should not be regarded as an achievement. To think in terms of achieving it is to place it outside your own nature. This is erroneous and misleading. Your nature and the integral nature of the universe are one and the same: indescribable, but eternally present. Simply open yourself to this.
Twenty-FiveNot all spiritual paths lead to the Harmonious Oneness. Indeed, most are detours and distractions, nothing more. Why not trust the plainness and simplicity of the Integral Way? Living with unconditional sincerity, eradicating all duality, celebrating the equality of things, your every moment will be in truth.
Twenty-SixThere are two kinds of blessings. The first are worldly blessings, which are won by doing good deeds. These concern the mind, and thus are confined in time and space. The second is the integral blessing, which falls on those who achieve awareness of the Great Oneness. This awareness liberates you from the bondage of mind, time, and space to fly freely through the boundless harmony of the Tao. Similarly, there are two kinds of wisdom. The first is worldly wisdom, which is a conceptual understanding of your experiences. Because it follows after the events themselves, it necessarily inhibits your direct understanding of truth. The second kind, integral wisdom, involves a direct participation in every moment: the observer and the observed are dissolved in the light of pure awareness, and no mental concepts or attitudes are present to dim that light. The blessings and wisdom that accrue to those who practice the Integral Way and lead others to it are a billion times greater than all worldly blessings and wisdom combined.
Twenty-SevenDo not imagine that an integral being has the ambition of enlightening the unaware or raising worldly people to the divine realm. To her, there is no self and other, and hence no one to be raised; no heaven and hell, and hence no destination. Therefore her only concern is her own sincerity.
Twenty-EightIt is tempting to view the vast and luminous heavens as the body of the Tao. That would be a mistake, however. If you identify the Tao with a particular shape, you won't ever see it.
Twenty-NineDon't think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice. This is egomania. Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness. Here is the great secret: Just as high awareness of the subtle truth is gained through virtuous conduct and sustaining disciplines, so also is it maintained through these things. Highly evolved beings know and respect the truth of this.
ThirtyWords can never convey the beauty of a tree; to understand it, you must see it with your own eyes. Language cannot capture the melody of a song; to understand it, you must hear it with your own ears. So it is with the Tao: the only way to understand it is to directly experience it. The subtle truth of the universe is unsayable and unthinkable. Therefore the highest teachings are wordless. My own words are not the medicine, but a prescription; not the destination, but a map to help you reach it. When you get there, quiet your mind and close your mouth. Don't analyze the Tao. Strive instead to live it: silently, undividedly, with your whole harmonious being.
Thirty-OneThe Tao doesn't come and go. It is always present everywhere, just like the sky. If your mind is clouded, you won't see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. All misery is created by the activity of the mind. Can you let go of words and ideas, attitudes and expectations? If so, then the Tao will loom into view. Can you be still and look inside? If so, then you will see that the truth is always available, always responsive.
Thirty-TwoThe ego says that the world is vast, and that the particles which form it are tiny. When tiny particles join, it says, the vast world appears. When the vast world disperses, it says, tiny particles appear. The ego is entranced by all these names and ideas, but the subtle truth is that world and particle are the same; neither one vast, neither one tiny. Every thing is equal to every other thing. Names and concepts only block your perception of this Great Oneness. Therefore it is wise to ignore them. Those who live inside their egos are continually bewildered: they struggle frantically to know whether things are large or small, whether or not there is a purpose to joining or dispersing, whether the universe is blind and mechanical or the divine creation of a conscious being. In reality there are no grounds for having beliefs or making comments about such things. Look behind them instead, and you will discern the deep, silent, complete truth of the Tao. Embrace it, and your bewilderment vanishes.
Thirty-ThreeJust as the world can reveal itself as particles, the Tao can reveal itself as human beings. Though world and particles aren't the same, neither are they different. Though the cosmic body and your body aren't the same, neither are they different. Worlds and particles, bodies and beings, time and space: All are transient expressions of the Tao. Unseeable, ungraspable, the Tao is beyond any attempt to analyze or categorize it. At the same time, its truth is everywhere you turn. If you can let go of it with your mind and surround it with your heart, it will live inside you forever.
Thirty-FourAll things in the universe move from the subtle to the manifest and back again. Whether the form is that of a star or a person, the process is the same. First, the subtle energy exists. Next, it becomes manifest and takes on life. After a time, the life passes away, but the subtle energy goes on, either returning to the subtle realm, where it remains, or once again attaching to manifest things. The character of your existence is determined by the energies to which you connect yourself. If you attach yourself to gross energies--loving this person, hating that clan, rejecting one experience or habitually indulging in another--then you will lead a series of heavy, attached lives. This can go on for a very long and tedious time. The way of the integral being is to join with higher things. By holding to that which is refined and subtle, she traverses refined and subtle realms. If she enters the world, she does so lightly, without attachment. In this way she can go anywhere without ever leaving the center of the universe.
Thirty-FiveIntellectual knowledge exists in and of the brain. Because the brain is part of the body, which must one day expire, this collection of facts, however large and impressive, will expire as well. Insight, however, is a function of the spirit. Because your spirit follows you through cycle after cycle of life, death, and rebirth, you have the opportunity of cultivating insight in an ongoing fashion. Refined over time, insight becomes pure, constant, and unwavering. This is the beginning of immortality.
Thirty-SixIt is entirely possible for you to achieve immortality, and to experience absolute joy and freedom forever. The practice of undiscriminating virtue is the means to this end. Practicing kindness and selflessness, you naturally align your life with the Integral Way. Aligning your life with the Integral Way, you begin to eliminate the illusory boundaries between people and societies, between darkness and light, between life and death. Eliminating these illusions, you gain the company of the highest spiritual beings. In their company, you are protected from negative influences and your life energy cannot be dissolved. Thus do you achieve immortality. Remember: it is not that those who cultivate wholeness and virtue in themselves do not encounter difficulties in life. It is that they understand that difficulties are the very road to immortality: by meeting them calmly and openly, however they unfold, and joyfully developing themselves in response to them, they become as natural, as complete, and as eternal as the Tao itself.
Thirty-SevenA superior person cares for the well-being of all things. She does this by accepting responsibility for the energy she manifests, both actively and in the subtle realm. Looking at a tree, she sees not an isolated event but root, leaves, trunk, water, soil and sun: each event related to the others, and "tree" arising out of their relatedness. Looking at herself or another, she sees the same thing. Trees and animals, humans and insects, flowers and birds: These are active images of the subtle energies that flow from the stars throughout the universe. Meeting and combining with each other and the elements of the earth, they give rise to all living things. The superior person understands this, and understands that her own energies play a part in it. Understanding these things, she respects the earth as her mother, the heavens as her father, and all living things as her brothers and sisters. Caring for them, she knows that she cares for herself. Giving to them, she knows that she gives to herself. At peace with them, she is always at peace with herself.
Thirty-EightWhy scurry about looking for the truth? It vibrates in every thing and every not-thing, right off the tip of your nose. Can you be still and see it in the mountain? the pine tree? yourself? Don't imagine that you'll discover it by accumulating more knowledge. Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge. You can't get full eating this way. The wise person dines on something more subtle: He eats the understanding that the named was born from the unnamed, that all being flows from non- being, that the describable world emanates from an indescribable source. He finds this subtle truth inside his own self, and becomes completely content. So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world? The foolish are always making impulsive moves, but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something more subtle. They see that something perfect exists before any move is made. This subtle perfection deteriorates when artificial actions are taken, so be content not to disturb the peace. Remain quiet. Discover the harmony in your own being. Embrace it. If you can do this, you will gain everything, and the world will become healthy again. If you can't, you will be lost in the shadows forever.
Thirty-NineIf you go searching for the Great Creator, you will come back empty-handed. The source of the universe is ultimately unknowable, a great invisible river flowing forever through a vast and fertile valley. Silent and uncreated, it creates all things. All things are brought forth from the subtle realm into the manifest world by the mystical intercourse of yin and yang. The dynamic river yang pushes forward, the still valley yin is receptive, and through their integration things come into existence. This is known as the Great Tai Chi. Tai chi is the integral truth of the universe. Everything is a tai chi: your body, the cosmic body, form, appearance, wisdom, energy, the unions of people, the dispersal of time and places. Each brings itself into existence through the integration of yin and yang, maintains itself, and disperses itself without the direction of any creator. Your creation, your self-transformation, the accumulation of energy and wisdom, the decline and cessation of your body: all these take place by themselves within the subtle operation of the universe. Therefore agitated effort is not necessary. Just be aware of the Great Tai Chi.
FortyThe natural laws of the universe are inviolable: Energy condenses into substance. Food is eaten through the mouth and not the nose. A person who neglects to breathe will turn blue and die. Some things simply can't be dismissed. It is also a part of the cosmic law that what you say and do determines what happens in your life. The ordinary person thinks that this law is external to himself and he feels confined and controlled by it. So his desires trouble his mind, his mind troubles his spirit, and he lives in constant turmoil with himself and the world. His whole life is spent in struggling. The superior person recognizes that he and the subtle law are one. Therefore he cultivates himself to accord with it, bringing moderation to his actions and clarity to his mind. Doing this, he finds himself at one with all that is divine and enlightened. His days are passed drinking in serenity and breathing out contentment. This is the profound, simple truth: You are the master of your life and death. What you do is what you are.
Forty-OneGood and bad, self and others, life and death: Why affirm these concepts? Why deny them? To do either is to exercise the mind, and the integral being knows that the manipulations of the mind are dreams, delusions, and shadows. Hold one idea, and another competes with it. Soon the two will be in conflict with a third, and in time your life is all chatter and contradiction. Seek instead to keep your mind undivided. Dissolve all ideas into the Tao.
Forty-TwoNothing in the realm of thoughts or ideologies is absolute. Lean on one for long, and it collapses. Because of this, there is nothing more futile and frustrating than relying on the mind. To arrive at the unshakable, you must befriend the Tao. To do this, quiet your thinking. Stop analyzing, dividing, making distinctions between one thing and another. Simply see that you are at the center of the universe, and accept all things and beings as parts of your infinite body. When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood the great truth.
Forty-ThreeIn ancient times, people lived holistic lives. They didn't overemphasize the intellect, but integrated mind, body, and spirit in all things. This allowed them to become masters of knowledge rather than victims of concepts. If a new invention appeared, they looked for the troubles it might cause as well as the shortcuts it offered. They valued old ways that had been proven effective, and they valued new ways if they could be proven effective. If you want to stop being confused, then emulate these ancient folk: join your body, mind, and spirit in all you do. Choose food, clothing, and shelter that accords with nature. Rely on your own body for transportation. Allow your work and your recreation to be one and the same. Do exercise that develops your whole being and nor just your body. Listen to music that bridges the three spheres of your being. Choose leaders for their virtue rather than their wealth or power. Serve others and cultivate yourself simultaneously. Understand that true growth comes from meeting and solving the problems of life in a way that is harmonizing to yourself and to others. If you can follow these simple old ways, you will be continually renewed.
Forty-FourThis is the nature of the unenlightened mind: The sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgements, which are based on previous judgements, which are usually based on someone else's foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system. Distortion upon distortion: the mental energy flows constantly through contorted and inappropriate channels, and the more one uses the mind, the more confused one becomes. To eliminate the vexation of the mind, it doesn't help to do something; this only reinforces the mind's mechanics. Dissolving the mind is instead a matter of not-doing: Simply avoid becoming attached to what you see and think. Relinquish the notion that you are separated from the all-knowing mind of the universe. Then you can recover your original pure insight and see through all illusions. Knowing nothing, you will be aware of everything. Remember: because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch.
Forty-FiveIf you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place. This is true because the mind is the governing aspect of a human life. If the river flows clearly and cleanly through the proper channel, all will be well along its banks. The Integral Way depends on decreasing, not increasing; To correct your mind, rely on not-doing. Stop thinking and clinging to complications; keep your mind detached and whole. Eliminate mental muddiness and obscurity; keep your mind crystal clear. Avoid daydreaming and allow your pure original insight to emerge. Quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. Don't go crazy with the worship of idols, images, and ideas; this is like putting a new head on top of the head you already have. Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.
Forty-SixThe Tao gives birth to One. One gives birth to yin and yang. Yin and yang give birth to all things. Now forget this. The complete whole is the complete whole. So also is any part the complete whole. Forget this, too. Pain and happiness are simply conditions of the ego. Forget the ego. Time and space are changing and dissolving, not fixed and real. They can be thought of as accessories, but don't think of them. Supernatural beings without form extend their life force throughout the universe to support beings both formed and unformed. But never mind this; the supernatural is just a part of nature, like the natural. The subtle truth emphasizes neither and includes both. All truth is in tai chi: to cultivate the mind, body, or spirit, simply balance the polarities. If people understood this, world peace and universal harmony would naturally arise. But forget about understanding and harmonizing and making all things one. The universe is already a harmonious oneness; just realize it. If you scramble about in search of inner peace, you will lose your inner peace.
Forty-SevenDualistic thinking is a sickness. Religion is a distortion. Materialism is cruel. Blind spirituality is unreal. Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more sacred than simply breathing, religious robes no more spiritual than work clothes. If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don't get caught up in spiritual superficialities. Instead, live a quiet and simple life, free of ideas and concepts. Find contentment in the practice of undiscriminating virtue, the only true power. Giving to others selflessly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darknesses, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings. This is what is meant by embodying the Tao.
Forty-EightDo you wish to free yourself of mental and emotional knots and become one with the Tao? If so, there are two paths available to you. The first is the path of acceptance. Affirm everyone and everything. Freely extend your goodwill and virtue in every direction, regardless of circumstances. Embrace all things as part of the Harmonious Oneness, and then you will begin to perceive it. The second path is that of denial. Recognize that everything you see and think is a falsehood, an illusion, a veil over the truth. Peel all the veils away, and you will arrive at the Oneness. Though these paths are entirely different, they will deliver you to the same place: spontaneous awareness of the Great Oneness. Once you arrive there, remember: it isn't necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it.
Forty-NineThinking and talking about the Integral Way are not the same as practicing it. Who ever became a good rider by talking about horses? If you wish to embody the Tao, stop chattering and start practicing. Relax your body and quiet your senses. Return your mind to its original clarity. Forget about being separated from others and from the Divine Source. As you return to the Oneness, do not think of it or be in awe of it. This is just another way of separating from it. Simply merge into truth, and allow it to surround you.
FiftyWhat good is it to spend your life accumulating material things? It isn't in keeping with the Tao. What benefit in conforming your behavior to someone's conventions? It violates your nature and dissipates your energy. Why separate your spiritual life and your practical life? To an integral being, there is no such distinction. Live simply and virtuously, true to your nature, drawing no line between what is spiritual and what is not. Ignore time. Relinquish ideas and concepts. Embrace the Oneness. This is the Integral Way.
Fifty-OneThose who want to know the truth of the universe should practice the four cardinal virtues. The first is reverence for all life; this manifests as unconditional love and respect for oneself and all other beings. The Second is natural sincerity; this manifests as honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness. The third is gentleness; this manifests as kindness, consideration for others, and sensitivity to spiritual truth. The fourth is supportiveness; this manifests as service to others without expectation of reward. The four virtues are not an external dogma but a part of your original nature. When practiced, they give birth to wisdom and evoke the five blessings: health, wealth, happiness, longevity, and peace.
Fifty-TwoDo you think you can clear your mind by sitting constantly in silent meditation? This makes your mind narrow, not clear. Integral awareness is fluid and adaptable, present in all places and at all times. That is true meditation. Who can attain clarity and simplicity by avoiding the world? The Tao is clear and simple, and it doesn't avoid the world. Why not simply honor your parents, love your children, help your brothers and sisters, be faithful to your friends, care for your mate with devotion, complete your work cooperatively and joyfully, assume responsibility for problems, practice virtue without first demanding it of others, understand the highest truths yet retain an ordinary manner? That would be true clarity, true simplicity, true mastery.
Fifty-ThreeTrue understanding in a person has two attributes: awareness and action. Together they form a natural tai chi. Who can enjoy enlightenment and remain indifferent to suffering in the world? This is not in keeping with the Way. Only those who increase their service along with their understanding can be called men and women of Tao.
Fifty-FourIn ancient times, various holistic sciences were developed by highly evolved beings to enable their own evolution and that of others. These subtle arts were created through the linking of individual minds with the universal mind. They are still taught by traditional teachers to those who display virtue and desire to assist others. The student who seeks our and studies these teachings furthers the evolution of mankind as well as her own spiritual unfolding. The student who ignores them hinders the development of all beings.
Fifty-FiveThe holistic practices of the ancient masters integrate science, art, and personal spiritual development. Mind, body, and spirit participate in them equally. They include:
- Yi Yau, the healing science which incorporates diagnosis, acupuncture, herbal medicine, therapeutic diet, and other methods;
- Syang Ming, the science which predicts a person's destiny by observing the outward physical manifestations of his face, skeleton, palms, and voice;
- Feng Shui, the science of discerning the subtle energy rays present in a geographic location to determine whether they will properly support the activities of a building or town constructed there;
- Fu Kua, the observation of the subtle alterations of yin and yang for the purpose of making decisions which are harmonious with the apparent and hidden aspects of a situation. The foundation of Fu Kua and of all Taoist practice is the study of the I Ching, or Book of Changes.
- Nei Dan, Wai Dan, and Fang Jung, the sciences of refining one's personal energy through alchemy, chemistry, and the cultivation of balanced sexual energy;
- Tai Syi, the science of revitalization through breathing and visualization techniques;
- Chwun Shi, the transformation of one's spiritual essence through keeping one's thoughts in accord with the Divine Source;
- Shu-Ser, the attunement of one's daily life to the cycle of universal energy rays;
- Bi Gu, the practice of fasting on specific days in order to gather life energy emanating from the harmonized positions of certain stars;
- Sau Yi, the science of embracing integral transcendental oneness in order to accomplish conception of the 'mystical pearl';
- Tai Chi Ch'uan, the performance of physical exercises to induce and direct energy flows within the body to gain mastery of body, breath, mind, the internal organs, and life and death;
- Fu Chi, the science of reforming and refining one's energy with pure food and herbs;
- Chuan Se, the inner visualization of the unity of one's inner and outer being;
- 'Dzai Jing, the purification of one's energy through ascetic practices;
- Fu Jou, the drawing of mystical pictures and the writing and recital of mystical invocations for the purpose of evoking a response from the subtle realm of the universe;
- Tsan Syan, the process of dissolving the ego and connecting with the Great Oneness through the study of classical scriptures and daily dialogue with an enlightened master;
- Lyou Yen and Chi Men, the mystical sciences of energy linkage for the purpose of influencing external affairs. Of these, the most important for beginners is the study of the I Ching, which enables one to perceive the hidden influences in every situation and thus establish a balanced and spiritually evolved means of responding to them. All are instruments for attaining the Tao. To study them is to serve universal unity, harmony, and wisdom.