Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ancient masters of Tao

In the Tao Te Ching, Laozi said,

‘Ancient masters (shi) of Tao possess a subtle and profound penetrating clarity of its mysteries; their depth beyond men’s knowledge.’
[TTC 15. 1 - AL]

Nowadays, there are many who claim that they are masters of Tao. Since Tao is so vast and minute, many seemed to know or grasp it but few really do. When these ‘masters’ and scholars of Tao are not even aware of or cannot see the many signposts of the Way indicated in the Zhouyi by the holy sages and about five centuries later in the Tao Te Ching by Laozi; how much can they know?

The Way cannot be read and understood through the intellect. Only by continual cultivation and the right practice can one get near it. Only when one is on the correct path and possess sufficient penetrating clarity and virtue, can the various indicated signposts be seen, felt, or heard. Even then one cannot be considered a master of the Way.

In case some readers would like to disagree, think about how the masters, experts, scholars, and aficionados down the ages were or are still figuring out the mysteries and profoundness of the Zhouyi. While at it, have they considered the depth of the holy sages who were accredited to have collectively brought about this ancient Book of Changes for posterity?

Going by his descriptions in the Tao Te Ching, Laozi truly understood the ways of ancient masters of Tao.

With the available ancient Chinese books and classics translated into various languages, can we not also learn to understand them too?

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Alan, as you learned in Zhouyi labels are a nature known to man. "Master" as you mention here is nothing more than that. Those concerned with the misuse of a word focus on that and not the true Tao. Wisdom is the understanding and not for the taking.

Namaste, Wayne