Daily Tao / 57 – Predilection

emptyThose who follow Tao do so
From their own predilection.
There are no promises,
Yet the rewards are immeasurable.

Of all the spiritual traditions, following Tao is among the least popular. Its adherents are poor and veiled with humility. In comparison, many traditions offer heaven, forgiveness, comfort, ecstasy, belonging, power, and wealth. Tao offers only three things : sound health, a way through the bewilderment of life, and liberation from the fear of death.

That is why there are so few followers of Tao. There is no glamor, there is no congregation, there is no ranking. You are either in the state of Tao, or you are temporarily out of it. When you die, you die.

You have to be tough to follow Tao. If you can avoid being discouraged by poverty, isolation, and obscurity, you will find an unshakable devotion that will last your entire life, and rewards will come in slow and subtle ways. You may not be suddenly rich and influential, but you will discover, to your great delight, that there is a secret source of sustenance. Once you taste that, all your doubts will fade, and both poverty and loneliness will be easier to bear.

Daly Tao / 56 – Muteness

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The more you dwell in the spirit,
The farther you are from common ways.
If you want to speak of Tao’s wonders,
Few will listen.

If you spend a long period of time in study and self-cultivation, you will enter Tao. By doing so, you also enter a world of extraordinary perceptions. You experience unimaginable things, receive thoughts and learning as if from nowhere, perceive things that could be classified as prescient. Yet if you try to communicate what you experience, there is no one to understand you, no one who will believe you. The more you walk this road, the farther you are from the ordinary ways of society. You may see the truth, but you will find that people would rather listen to politicians, performers, and charlatans.

If you are known as a follower of Tao, people may seek you out, but they are seldom the ones who will truly understand Tao. They are people who would exploit Tao as a crutch. To speak to them of the wonders you have seen is often to engage in a futile bout of miscommunication. That is why it is said that those who know do not speak.

Why not simply stay quiet? Enjoy Tao as you will. Let others think you are dumb. Inside yourself, you will know the joy of Tao’s mysteries. If you met someone who can profit by your experience, you should share. But if you are merely a wanderer in a crowd of strangers, it is wisdom to be silent.