It is through our perception of this realm of manifestation
And our will to reason about all we perceive
That we learn to believe in opposites.
Beauty & Ugliness
Love & Hatred
Good & Evil
Only names for the unnameable.
The concepts they speak of,
Only manifestations of the eternally real.
By believing these words speak the final truth
We make their manifestations real.
We come to believe we are on thing, or another.
We come to believe we are separate.
We become prone to loneliness, fear, anger, hatred, violence.
But All are one
And One in all
No soul is ever alone.
But a manifestation knows loneliness
When it disconnects from its own soul,
Which is One & All.
A fair number of the poems I write owe something to Stephen Mitchell’s interpretation of the venerable Tao te Ching. Those who are familiar with it will recognise phrases from its first chapter in this poem.
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.
There’s also an inflection from Chapter 2 in The Supple Vulnerability of Love. That chapter in full:
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.