dao mosaic


Tulips create art

Tiles of carnelian, lapis, and jade,
The muralist sees his picture
One centimeter at a time.
Every piece alone is precious;
Together they make a priceless whole.

Not far from where I grew up, there was a muralist whose specialty was mosaic. He accepted commissions from all over the world and also collaborated with a number of famous artists on their murals and sculptures. He had bins and buckets full of all sorts of fascinating tiles. Some were red, blue, and yellow glass. Others were elaborately glazed ceramic. A few were tones like lapis, turquoise, malachite, and obsidian. Some were even mirrored with god and silver, and these would shine out first whenever he would wash away the grout.

God may be in the details, but it is also important to know the big picture.

That is where the muralist is such a great example. He knew what the big picture had to be, and yet he had enough concentration to piece together enormous tableaus out of tiny square centimeters. That is knowing both the small and the big. Follow his example and you will never be petty; yet you will not lose sight of the relationship between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)

© Original Photo by Gabi Greve, Japan


used with her permission

Ms. Greve has given us access to a great amount of amazing work
and we are so thrilled to have her permission to use it!)

I have only guessed at this title, I will clarify when I hear from her.
Her link is to her
Daruma Museum, please visit to enjoy her talents!

Historical Developments: The Classical Period


Zhuangzi takes a step beyond Laozi in his theory of emotions. Zhuangzi discusses the passions and emotions that were raw, pre-social inputs from reality. He suggested a pragmatic attitude toward them—we cannot know what purpose they have, but without them, there would be no reference for the "I." Without the 'I', there would be neither choosing nor objects of choice. Like Hume, he argued that while we have these inputs and feel there must be some organizing "true ruler," we get no input (qing) from any such ruler. We simply have the inputs themselves (happiness, anger, sorrow, joy, fear). We cannot suppose that the physical heart is such a ruler, because it is no more natural than the other organs and joints of the body. Training and history condition a heart’s judgments. Ultimately, even Mencius’ shi-fei (this-not this) are input to the xin. Our experience introduces them relative to our position and past assumptions. They are not objective or neutral judgments.

XUNZI also concentrated on issues related to philosophy of mind though in the context of moral and linguistic issues. He initiated some important and historically influential developments in the classical theory. His most famous (and textually suspect) doctrine is "human nature is evil." While he clearly wanted to distance himself from Mencius, the slogan at best obscures the deep affinity between their respective views of human nature and mind.

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