Rain dripping from eaves
Sounds nature’s poetry.
We speak and write to
Explain to ourselves.
Knowledge of Tao lodges in the same part of the mind as poetry. That is why the ancients expressed themselves in verse: There is the same quick perception.
When we are in touch with Tao, it is not our academic learning that is speaking, but the spirit of Tao itself. The old texts are very specific about this. That is why there is such a vast difference between the words of scholars and the words of a practitioner, just as the words of academics differ from the words of poets.
At the elementary stages of study, we need to articulate our experiences and let Tao flow through us. Followers of Tao frequently use writing, art, and even poetry as tools for self-discovery. By articulating their experiences, it helps them to understand the stages they are going through. Once they can do this, it satisfies and neutralizes their rational minds. The process clears away intellectualism and leaves the true Tao, which is not subject to words or images.
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
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