Hold fast to the great Tao,
And the entire world will come.
They come and will encounter no harm.
In it they will find security, peace and health.
Music and dainties are passing pleasures,
And yet they make strangers stay.
But how insipid and tasteless are things of the world
As compared with the flow of the Tao!
When we look for it, there is nothing to see.
When we listen to it, there is nothing to hear.
When we use it, it cannot be exhausted.
As I Understand It:
Sages say the Tao is bliss. Invisible, it courses through them. It is the reason people flock to a sage to find security, peace and happiness.
We relish the sensuous pleasures of the world; food, clothing, laughter, dance, music and such things, but are never satiated. No sooner have we delighted in a delicious delicacy, a hilarious comedy or a moving symphony we are ready for the next one–as if we were addicts–in the grip of the very thing that makes us feel good. These “dainties” are “bland and insipid” as compared with the ecstasy of the Tao that, if we want, can permanently flow through us.
Once we feel the flow of the Tao we can also savor sensuous pleasures: our favorite cuisines, fancy attires, favorite music or art. Yet, we must remember when they are out of sight they cease to give pleasure, but the bliss of the Tao is permanent. It helps us neither to overindulge in the pleasures of life nor deny them.
The Tao is invisible, inaudible, cannot be touched, neither has it smell nor taste. It is an inexhausable treasure that can only be felt.
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.