This weeks reading from the Tao Te Ching is a beautiful evocation of the Sacred Feminine, aka mother of the universe. As I explained in last week’s post, my blogging is running behind so I’m only posting texts we read at class. I’ll be spinning commentary again before too long. In the meantime, if you weren’t at class, you’ll have to connect the dots…
There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Infinite Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it Tao.
It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.
The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.
This reading inspired me to open the Devi Gita. I have several translations of this text. This is from Sw. Satyananda Saraswati’s version. Which is not the most sublime or scholarly. But is probably the most heartfelt. I pulled randomly, just to give another perspective on the Mother…
Why are all your thoughts so filled with anxiety, when the auspicious Goddess of the Universe…is awake….She radiated like ten million suns, and again like the coolness of ten million moons….That Light was equal to ten million bolts of lightening, reflecting the highest Love. There was nothing above it, nor nothing below it, neither was there anything other in the middle from its origin…It had no beginning, nor had it an end. It had neither hands nor other limbs attached to its body….
And the last word goes to Mary Oliver…
“Just a minute,” said a voice in the weeds.
So I stood still
in the day’s exquisite morning light
and so I didn’t crush with my great feet
any small or unusual thing just happening to pass by
where I was passing by
on my way to the blueberry fields,
and maybe it was the toad
and maybe it was the June beetle
and maybe it was the pink and tender worm
who does his work without limbs or eyes
and does it well
or maybe it was the walking stick, still frail
and walking humbly by, looking for a tree,
or maybe, like Blake’s wondrous meeting, it was
the elves, carrying one of their own
on a rose-petal coffin away, away
into the deep grasses. After awhile
the quaintest voice said, “Thank you.” And then there was silence.
For the rest, I would keep you wondering.