Tao Te Ching Chapter 49
The Master has no mind of her own.
She understands the mind of the people.
To those who are good she treats as good.
To those who aren’t good she also treats as good.
This is how she attains true goodness.
She trusts people who are trustworthy.
She also trusts people who aren’t trustworthy.
This is how she gains true trust.
The Master’s mind is shut off from the world.
Only for the sake of the people does she muddle her mind.
They look to her in anticipation.
Yet she treats them all as her children.
Tzu, L. (2010). Tao Te Ching. (J. H. McDonald, Trans.) London, England: Arcturus.
Transcendence (by James Thornbrook)
Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic
centered on the acceptance of imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes
described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene
melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be
Cartesian Vision by René Descartes, 1644
This woodcut from Descartes’ 1644 Principles of Philosophy diagrams Descartes’ theory of vision and its interaction with the pineal gland. Descartes believed that light rays impressed subtle particles into the eyes. The image was then transmitted to the pineal gland, which served as the nexus between mind and body. In this sketch the external stimulus is translated into an act of will (pointing) by the pineal gland.
The allegory of a cave of shadows, put forward by Plato in Book VII of The Republic, is one of the defining images of the Western philosophic tradition. Plato suggests that we are each the prisoner in the cave, so long as we remain caught up in “the region revealed through sight,” the world of the senses. In order to escape, we must focus our minds on the intellectual and climb up the “steep and rugged ascent” to the mouth of the cave, beyond which is the sun, the rational and transcendent source of all that is real and eternal.
This allegory lies at the heart of a Western tradition that associates images of light with knowledge and realization, and images of darkness with ignorance and deception. Light clarifies while darkness is ambiguous. Brightness and brilliance connote intelligence, and truth is illumination and enlightenment, while the unknown takes the form of a cloud, is shrouded behind a veil, or is seen dimly, through a glass darkly. The period of intellectual decline that fell across Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire is known as the Dark Ages, while the Age of Light and Reason that began in the sixteenth century saw the flourishing of science and rationality, with its ratios and radii, words which all share the same linguistic root as radiant; an era defined by the intellectual fire of Plato’s sun.
–Rob Percival, THE TWILIGHT OF CERTAINTY: Raised in darkness, they strive to save the Earth, Parabola, Fall 2012."
Parabola (via parkstepp)