Daily Tao / 275 – Obscurity


Writings about Tao are purposefully obscure.
Why? Because the writers cherish Tao.
The path is difficult to ensure worthiness.
The lazy look elsewhere,
The persevering find riches.

There was once an eccentric calligrapher who said, “When the ordinary person likes my work, I shudder. If they find me obscure, then I am delighted.”

Writings about Tao are not always easy to understand. Many times in the past, even monks in long training were still helpless to properly interpret the scriptures. Some have therefore accused followers of Tao of being coldly elitist. In fact, those who write about Tao are obscure only because they cherish Tao so much. They only want knowledge of Tao to go to those who will appreciate it. They do not want to pollute Tao by exposing it to the idly curious. If everyone in the world could appreciate Tao, then the knowledge of Tao would be given freely.

Actually, the masters have already babbled away all the secrets. In their compassionate determination to pass on their insights, they have worn themselves out trying to get their messages across to us. The secrets of life are already written repeatedly in all the holy books. They are only secrets because we do not take the time to truly read.

Can you see jewels in the mud?