The Subtle Essence

The subtle essence of the universe supports all things.
It is a treasure to virtuous people,
yet it is a refuge for unvirtuous people too.

Good words will find their market.
Good deeds may be presented as a gift to another.
Though a person has strayed from the right path,
the all-encompassing subtle essence of the universe
will never abandon him.

Hence, at the enthronement of an emperor,
or the appointment of the three highest ministers
of the empire,
rather than present them with discs of jade
and teams of fine horses,
show them the priceless subtle Way of the universe.

Why did the ancestors esteem the subtle Way of the universe?
Didn’t they say that a seeker will find nothing,
but that he can be free from all transgressions?
That is why it is such a treasure to the world.

source: Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching
image: Eddie’s Images


12 thoughts on “The Subtle Essence

  1. In a time of great need I found Lao Tzu and there is not a day that I don’t recall something of his insight and wisdom. A lovely thought and photo. ­čÖé

  2. ” rather than present them with discs of jade
    and teams of fine horses,
    show them the priceless subtle Way of the universe. ”

    beautiful…. if the emperor or highest ministers would take that counsel to heart, our world would be healthier

    the email notification of this post must be swirling around cyberspace with many other comrades!

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