Daily Tao / 168 – Sage

Taoism--sages_admiring_yin_yang_symbol

Ancient sages lived in forests and
Wandered from village to village.
Sharing openly, teaching the people
Without profit or ownership.

There were more holy aspirants in ancient times. These men and women cultivated themselves in the mountains or wandered among forests and streams. When they came to a village and saw that there was some knowledge that could be imparted to the people, they did so openly. Once they taught what was necessary, they disappeared, knowing that others would follow behind them. They did not establish religious schools, temples, or philosophies bearing their names. They knew knowledge did not belong to anyone. It could not be owned, parceled out for profit, or withheld selfishly.

Nowadays, many people regard knowledge as a mere commodity to be packaged, marketed, and sold. Their interest is not in benefit for others’ souls but for their own pocketbooks. For example, one contemporary master requires a thousand ounces of gold before he will teach a single technique. We live in a world where the selfless sharing of knowledge is no longer a virtue.

The more knowledge that you give away, the more will come to you. The more you hoard, the less you will accumulate. Be compassionate to others. What do you have to fear by being open?