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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Saturday Rave: Wang Chongyang.

Wang Chongyang was born in China in 1113 AD. He had a traditional upper class upbringing and was planning on starting a civil war when he happened to meet three immortal beings in a pub. As a result of this meeting he became a philosopher and mystic, instead.

If only things always happened that way.

Wang Chongyang lived a holy life after that mysterious encounter, three years of it in a tomb he'd made for himself, and four years in a hut he called the 'Complete Perfection' hut.

Wang Chongyang devoted his life to Taoism. Luckily for us he wrote down his discoveries, sometimes in the form of poetry. Here is one of his poems.

I can't say that the beauty of the language really shines through in this translation, but the longing for a better sort of life does.


Resolutely yearn for the Tao 
and retain nothing that binds and enwraps you.
Isolate your body, and sleep in solitude.
When stillness arises within the stillness you will attain wonders.
When calmness arrives within the calmness you shall certainly unite with the mysterious.
Now you can act as you will, and know what it is to be tranquil and content.
The inborn saint passes the days in refreshing coolness.
Stop wishing for divine immortality; stop speaking of it.
Let yourself sit in the white lotus flower.



Word To Use Today: Tao. Tao encompasses, firstly, ideas about the goodness of the universe in which all things exist and happen; secondly, the rational basis of human conduct; and, thirdly, the relationship between life and eternal truth. 

The word means path in Chinese.

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