The whole world recognizes the beautiful as beautiful,
Yet this is only the ugly.
The whole world recognizes the good as the good, yet this is the only bad.
Thus something and nothing produce each other;
The difficult and the easy compliment each other;
The long and the short off-set each other;
The high and the low incline toward each other;
Note and sound harmonize with each other;
Therefore the sage keeps the deep that consists of taking no action
and practices the teaching that uses no words.
Therefore the sage keeps the deed that consists of taking no action
And practices the teaching that uses no words.
The myriad creatures rise from it yet it claims no authority.
It gives them life yet claims no possession;
It accomplishes its task yet lays claim to no merit.
It is because it lays claim to no merit
That its merit never deserts it.
Okay, a few notes on some of the pictures:
The one with the LITTLE PRINCE is a reference to this part of the book that my beloved grandpa used to nag me about: about how the Little Prince continued to clean and take care of the lil’ volcano on his tiny planets even though it never seemed that bad. He always told me about how it was because the LP took care of the volcano and that if he didn’t it’d take over. My grandfather, Tata Tony, was the best. Super philosohpical. Many of his tirades were related to that book…I was resistant to reading it. I finally said, “okay, I’ll read it,” and the beloved man dies before I can tell him. Anyway, taking care of something seems pretty thankless.
The one with the sun, “it benefits them yet exacts no gratitude;” is a sun. It’s because a team leader I once had in Americorps, for a going away gift, gave me a RUMI poem which basically did a beautiful job of this sentiment….