dao imagination

Chinese characters for "imagination"

women on bicycles, riding to the artstudio

Imagination is pale and fragile,
Dreams grip with a false reality.
Imagination can build bridges,
Dreams can deceive.

When we dream, the experience is often deeply involving. Frightening dreams make us awake trembling and sweating. Pleasurable dreams leave us with lingering desires. Certain dreams are a form of healing, a way for our minds to recircuit and adjust themselves. No matter what, these dreams have no objective reality in our waking world.

Imagination is also a form of mental involvement. It is a way of projecting our thoughts into believable images to be contemplated and manipulated. We can play with our imagination, use it to inspire creative projects.

Both imagination and dreams are similar activities of the mind, and yet they differ in the level of conscious participation that they permit. In the case of the dream, there is a total suspension of rationality and consciousness, so there is little or no direction possible. There is no mode of control. By contrast, imagination is a tool through which we can make our lives better, different, and creative. By cooperating with it, we can achieve things that “we never dreamed possible.”

365 Tao
Daily Meditations
Deng Ming-Dao
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

today’s art is by Heera Karna
my dedication today: for Jeremy and his ride to freedom
“lost dreams awaken”

T A O t e C H I N G

hand drawn calligraphy of the word dao

S E V E N T Y - T W O

Chinese characters for "daodejing verse seventy-two"

When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster.

Do not intrude in their homes.
Do not harass them at work.
If you do not interfere, they will not weary of you.

Therefore the sage knows himself but makes no show,
Has self-respect but is not arrogant.
He lets go of that and chooses this.
— translation by GIA-FU FENG

When they lose their sense of awe,
people turn to religion.
When they no longer trust themselves,
they begin to depend upon authority.

Therefore the Master steps back
so that people won't be confused.
He teaches without a teaching,
so that people will have nothing to learn.
— translation by STEVEN MITCHELL

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