The true men of old were not afraid when
they stood alone in their views.
No great exploits. No plans.
If they failed, no sorrow.
No self-congratulation in success...
The true men of old knew no lust for life,
no dread of death.
Their entrance was without gladness, their exit, yonder, without resistance.
Easy come, easy go.
They did not forget where from, nor ask where to, nor drive grimly forward fighting their way through life.
They took life as it came, gladly;
took death as it came, without care; and went away, yonder. Yonder!
They had no mind to fight Tao.
They did not try by their own contriving, to help Tao along.
These are the ones we call true men.
Minds free, thoughts gone. Brows clear, faces serene.
(6:1, pp. 89-90)
Goods and possessions are no gain in his eyes.
He stays far from wealth and honor.
Long life is no ground for joy, nor early death for sorrow.
Success is not for him to be pround of, failure is no shame.
Had he all the world's power he would not hold it as his own.
If he conquered everything he would not take it to himself.
His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal.
(12:2, pp. 106-107)
The man in whom Tao acts without impediment
harms no other being by his actions
yet he does not know himself to be "kind", to be "gentle"...
(He) does not bother with his own interests and does not despise others who do.
He does not struggle to make money and does not make a virtue of poverty.
He goes his way without relying on others and does not pride himself on walking alone.
While he does not follow the crowd he won't complain of those who do.
Rank and reward make no appeal to him; disgrace and shame do not deter him.
He is not always looking for right and wrong, always deciding "Yes" or "No."
The ancients said, therefore:
The man of Tao remains unknown.(17:3, pp. 137-138)
Perfect virtue produces nothing.
"No-Self" is "True-Self".
And the greatest man is Nobody.
©1999 by Deb Platt