dao interpretation

Chinese for "interpretation"
full shot of prayer wheel, design intricate

All that we experience is subjective.
There is no sensation without interpretation.
We create the world and ourselves;
Only when we stop do we see the truth.

The world exists, but we cannot truly be one with it in our normal modes of consciousness. Our minds know the world by constructing conclusions from the data of our senses. All that we know is filtered and interpreted.

Therefore, there is no such thing as objectivity or direct knowledge of the world. Everything is relative because we are each condemned to our particular vantage points. As long as we all have different perspectives, as long as perception relies on our senses, then there cannot be an absolute truth. All knowledge from experience, valuable as it may be, is imperfect and merely provisional.

Inner truth is only glimpsed by disconnecting the mechanism of interpretation. If we can withdraw the activities of the senses and isolate that part of the mind responsible for filtering sensory input, then we can temporarily shut off the ongoing process of interaction with the outside world. We will then be in a neutral place that is wholly turned inward. We are left with an absolute state, entirely without distinction or relativity. This is called nothingness, and it is the truth underlying all things.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Tibet, Treasures from the Roof of the World

Tibetan woman with Prayer Wheel

This is among the most symbolic of religious objects for Tibetans. Mediators hold the prayer wheel and during countless rotations of the wheel, they repeat the mantra. This way, the mediator sends out thousands of prayers, each calling for universal compassion for all living beings.

Photo taken by Peter Keller, Ph.D

(I really enjoyed seeing this photograph and thought it would be a good addition to the photo of the Dalai Lama's prayer wheel yesterday)

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao
t h i r t y - o n e

tao 31

Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.

Weapons are the tools of fear;
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.

Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?

His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn't wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.

How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?

He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.

— translation is by Steven Mitchell

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