The Image of The Imageless



Tao Te Ching 14


Look at it, it cannot be seen
It is called colorless
Listen to it, it cannot be heard
It is called noiseless
Reach for it, it cannot be held
It is called formless
These three cannot be completely unraveled
So they are combined into one

Above it, not bright
Below it, not dark
Continuing endlessly, cannot be named
It returns back into nothingness
Thus it is called the form of the formless
The image of the imageless
This is called enigmatic
Confront it, its front cannot be seen
Follow it, its back cannot be seen

Wield the Tao of the ancients
To manage the existence of today
One can know the ancient beginning
It is called the Tao Axiom


14 thoughts on “The Image of The Imageless

  1. I don’t know much about the Tao, but this verse reminds me of a quote from the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (easily the most well-written book in the English language). Regarding an experience in an ancient palace, T. E, Lawrence wrote:

    The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded not with water but, for greater richness, with the precious essential oils of flowers.
    My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from one crowded room to another, saying, “This is Jessamine, this ambergis, this rose.” But at last Dahoum drew me: “Come and smell the very sweetest of all”: and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, endless winds of the desert, throbbing past…”This,” they told me, “is the best: it has no taste.”

    I find it interesting how similar ideas arise in various areas of the world: under different belief systems. Perhaps we are more alike than we realize (or want to admit).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Josh 🙂

      Yes, that is true. I also feel that essentially we are all similar and differences are superficially. The most beautiful literature is about Truth, love and peace 🙂

      Thanks for your visit, reading and kind words 🙂

      Love and light ❤

      Anand 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Long back, I was performing a CT scan on one drunk traumatised patient. We spent an hour taking umpteen shots but he kept moving and I was not getting satisfactory images. I explained, pleaded, scolded…tried all Sam-dam-dand-bhed. Finally, I got a beautiful still image. I went to congratulate him.

    Man was dead!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Lo and behold! That’s not my writing so I don’t deserve that much! It’s a verse from Tao Te Ching, a book written by Chinese mystic Laotzu some 3000 years ago.

          Love and light ❤

          Anand 🙂


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