Twelfth Chapter: Tao Te Ching | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Twelfth Chapter: Tao Te Ching

Twelfth Chapter: Tao Te Ching

Chapter Twelfth
Tao Te Ching

The five colors make us blind.
The five tones make us deaf.
The five flavors dull our taste.
Rush and hunt craze our minds.
Accumulating worldly objects injures our inner growth.

The sage observes what is without but trusts what is within.
He rejects the outer and accepts the inner.

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As I understand it:

The gratification of the sensory experiences never satiates. Never feeling satisfied is a formula for craziness. The lure of acquisitions and fame is seductive. We need to extend the vision of our lives beyond sensory level.

What makes life meaningful is paying attention to that which lies beyond the world of appearances. This is not a formula for renunciation. It suggests enjoying things of the world but not accumulating. As we begin to relax — go within — the inner convictions replace the hunt for possessions, the constant feeling of getting things done, and the desire to acquire fame.

An enlightened being, observes the world but does not identify with it. She takes pleasure in life – neither morose nor ecstatic.

The invisible force that created me, blossoms the universe.
From the darkness of nothingness, something appears.

While without is transitory
Nothingness within is powerful, permanent and has potential.

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Suggested Readings:
Lao Tzu, The Way of Lao Tzu, tr. Wing-Tsit Chan, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.

Dyer, Wayne W., Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.

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