The Mind Is Like a Knife

Sep 2, 2017 | Tao du Jour

“The 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: (s)he who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her fingertips.”

-Hua Hu Ching by Lao Tzu*- Chapter 13, translated by Brian Walker

*The veracity of claims that the Hua Hu Ching, or Huahujing, was written by Lao Tzu are challenged by some scholars pointing out that the first mention of this text in historical records was around the 4th century CE whereas Lao Tzu was reportedly alive and well circa in the 6th century BCE. If the claims are genuine, why did it take so long for the text to be mentioned? Then again, the idea that Lao Tzu the man ever existed is commonly questioned as well. The name “Lao Tzu” on its own arouses suspicion, given that the Chinese characters that spell the name signify “old master” or “old teacher.”

The Mind Is Like a Knife

Sep 2, 2017 | Tao du Jour

“The 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: (s)he who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her fingertips.”

-Hua Hu Ching by Lao Tzu* – Chapter 13, translated by Brian Walker

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

*The veracity of claims that the Hua Hu Ching, or Huahujing, was written by Lao Tzu are challenged by some scholars pointing out that the first mention of this text in historical records was around the 4th century CE whereas Lao Tzu was reportedly alive and well circa in the 6th century BCE. If the claims are genuine, why did it take so long for the text to be mentioned? Then again, the idea that Lao Tzu the man ever existed is commonly questioned as well. The name “Lao Tzu” on its own arouses suspicion, given that the Chinese characters that spell the name signify “old master” or “old teacher.”

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)



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