guys thanks for all the responses. jason i'm glad you posted for the first time, i'm glad i helped.
the Tao te Ching was the first book to open my eyes to a bigger world. you could say it was a moment of clarity. the first page pretty much summed up how i've always felt about religion.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.
i've always felt that all religions fight over the same thing. things like the true name of god. i realise that tao does not mean god (something more, yet something less), but this is just an example, so bear with me. in this chapter it could be used for this purpose. like man is too ignorant to know god's name so we just name him/her...insert name here, in this case=tao.
both aikido and the art of peace seem to have similar ideas that the Tao has here is a few
Whenever you advise a ruler in the way of Tao,
Counsel him not to use force to conquer the universe.
For this would only cause resistance.
Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed.
Lean years follow in the wake of a great war.
Just do what needs to be done.
Never take advantage of power.
But never glory in them.
But never boast.
But never be proud.
Because this is the natural way.
But not through violence.
Force is followed by loss of strength.
This is not the way of Tao.
That which goes against the Tao
comes to an early end.
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.
He who knows he has enough is rich.
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.
The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it dilligently
The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again.
The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs aloud.
If there were no laughter, the Tao would not be what it is.
Hence it is said:
The bright path seems dim;
Going forward seems like retreat;
The easy way seems hard;
The highest virtue seems empty;
Great purity seems sullied;
A wealth of Virtue seems inadequate;
The strength of Virtue seems frail;
Real Virtue seems unreal;
The perfect square has no corners;
Great talents ripen late;
The higest notes are hard to hear;
The greatest form has no shape.
The Tao is hidden and without name.
The Tao alone nourishes and brings everything to fulfillment.
The softest thing in the universe
Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
That without substance can enter where there is no room.
Hence I know the value of non-action.
Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.
ch 43 really screams aikido to me wu wei being the equal to no mind, not to mention the soft overcoming the hard
the art of peace is new to me. as in the sense that i've known about it, but never read it...until now.
i think that my taekwondo master, (indirectly) got me (as a child) to be really blinded to only see the korean martial arts, he spent time in the korean war, and lived there during the japanese occupation, i really felt for him as a child, but what else could a pre-teen boy do aside from dedicating loyalty to his ways. being an american and seeing what we've done (or haven't done), it's easy for me feel great sympathy and loyalty to these arts. but as time marched on i guess i became disillusioned with the McDojang scene. it's a harsh statement to make, especially considering all i know about my previous master, but yet true. in the Tao's last chapter is says "sincere words are not sweet. sweet words are not sincere." thus this blind loyalty to only one nation's martial arts has to end. i came across the Tao in a number of ways, one was my wife, a second her mother, another my previous boss at a pharmacy and lastly a tai ji sifu who helped me when i was on 'not so solid ground'. the love of Tao didn't come at face value (see tao te ching ch 41) as much as i heard people talk about i had to learn on my own. politely i would nod my head, and say"that's very interesting", and not mean it. but latter erin(my wife's mom) told to read the first page, just the first page and see what i thoought of it. well in this post you all know what i thought of it. and the simplest most looked over eastern symbol in western society came to my mind...the yin/yang. it's everywhere, on surfboards, t-shirts, doboks...the south korean flag. it all hit me like a kick in the nuts, the tao really is all around me, not just in the commercial form i just mentioned, that's just the cheesy way i learned that fact. and that if we spell it chi or qi or ki or prana we're talking about the same thing. though diversity is the spice of life, sometimes i can see us (martial artist, martial art enthusiasts, eastern philosophy majors, wannabes, gonnabes, and etc.) all of us,fighting, sometimes almost (not quite, but almost)like those numerous religion killing in the name of the same nameless thing the 5 neo confuscist commandments. i do apologize if anyone here loves the works kong fu tse (confucius)
but what the man says about women and 'lesser borns' is disgusting. sorry about my rant, there. you know i had a point and i still have the flu, and i'm typing while half awake so i'll leave you with this i look forward to aikido i am still studying the tao and i must recomend lao tzu to any aikidoka or wannabe aikidoka(such as myself), and i look forward to reading more of the art of peace . oh yeah
i almost forgot there are so many different ways to interperet the Tao te Ching so here is a site that translates it sentence by sentence in numerous different translations. http://wayist.org/ttc%20compared/indexchp.htm
if this link doesn't work you might want to try to cut and paste it to the address box. aslo does anyone know of multipule texts of the art of peace?