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Then there are the two additional books below also translated by Brian Walker and together with the Hua Hu Ching make a core collection of Taoist Thought.
It vibrates in every thing and every not-thing, right off the tip of your nose.
Can you be still and see it in the mountain?
the pine tree?
Don't imagine that you'll discover it by accumulating more knowledge.
Knowledge creates doubt,
and doubt makes you ravenous for more knowledge.
You can't get full eating this way.
The wise person dines on something more subtle:
He eats the understanding that the named was born from the unnamed, that all being flows from non- being, that the describable world emanates from an indescribable source.
He finds this subtle truth inside his own self,
and becomes completely content.
So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world?
The foolish are always making impulsive moves, but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something more subtle.
They see that something perfect exists before any move is made.
This subtle perfection deteriorates when artificial actions are taken,
so be content not to disturb the peace.
Discover the harmony in your own being. Embrace it.
If you can do this, you will gain everything, and the world will become healthy again.
If you can't, you will be lost in the shadows forever.
The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu is among the most widely translated and cherished books in the world. Singular in its lucidity, revered across cultural boundaries for its timeless wisdom, it is
believed among Westerners to be Lao Tzu's only book. Few are aware that a collection of his oral teachings on the subject of attaining enlightenment and mastery were also recorded in a book called the Hua Hu Ching (pronounced "wha hoo jing"). The teachings of the Hua Hu Ching are of enormous power and consequence, a literal road map to the divine realm for ordinary human beings. Perhaps predictably, the book was banned during a period of political discord in China, and all copies were ordered to be burned. Were it not for the Taoist
tradition of oral transmission of sacred scriptures from master to student, they would have been lost forever. I am permanently indebted to Taoist Master Ni Hua-Ching for sharing his version of these teachings with the Western world after his emigration from China in 1976. My work here is largely based upon his teaching. I bow also to Stephen Mitchell, whose recent translation of the Tao te Ching moved, shaped, and informed me. I encourage readers of this volume to also study Stephen's book; his elucidation of the Tao and how it manifests in the world is exquisite. It would be a profound pleasure to me if my work one day met the high standard he has set with his own.
--BRIAN WALKER BOULDER, COLORADO 1 OCTOBER 1993