I italicize phrases I borrow from the chapter, and link to phrases I borrow from other chapters to help tie chapters together. While making it more tedious to read, :? the Tao Te Ching is best pondered in the context of the whole.
Knowing when to stop
is the essence of art. And the art of living is knowing when to stop.
A life time is the [chref=41]great[/chref] canvas onto which we 'paint' our life as we live out each day. We finish our unique work of art when we take our last breath.
I spent many youthful years cutting up and naming this uncarved block
- life. I still do; being the big brained animal that I am. All the more reason why [chref=2]practicing the teaching that uses no words[/chref] is the only 'teaching' that works. By and large, it all boils down to this: [chref=36]If you would have a thing laid aside, you must first set it up[/chref], and so on. Alas, one of the most tempting [chref=53]by-paths[/chref] in life is the desire to find a short cut around the suffering side of life
. We want it the 'easy' way. Likewise, we are seduced by the illusion of perfection. It is as though we believe that [chref=2]the good[/chref] can exist without the bad, or [chref=2]the beautiful[/chref] without the ugly. Thus we hack away at the uncarved block
driven by the [chref=37]desire[/chref] to have it our way. All we get in return are endless [chref=63]difficulties[/chref].
This is one reason why [chref=70]my words are very easy to understand and very easy to put into practice, yet no one in the world can understand them or put them into practice[/chref]. We want it both ways - easy and
perfect. Only when [chref=45]great perfection seems chipped[/chref] (in our stream
of consciousness) are we able to [chref=33]know contentment[/chref] a little deeper. Indeed, the great way [chref=64]is easy[/chref] when we can be content with chipped perfection.