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My Current Read

Posted Jan 28 2009 12:00am

It’s called “The Tao of Emerson” and is Edited by Richard Grossman.  I picked it up quite a while ago at a charity book sale for just a few bucks.  Actually, did I come back with one or two bags? Ironic for someone with ADD who couldn’t then read, yet irresistible for someone who loves books with a passion.

It draws parallels between the Tao Te Ching and it’s philosophical principles (one translated version) and some of Emerson’s writing.  Interesting?  Grossman said that it wasn’t a mere cut and paste sort of job.  I’ve just started it and I was “stim-less” yesterday due to my ADD “med-rationing.”  That is due to lack of insurance for those that do not know.

NOTE: ADD meds are the only psych meds where you can take a “drug holiday.”  I would not recommend it for any other meds anyone else out there may be on.  Seriously.

I think, at least, this is the sort of book that you need to pay a little bit of attention to; you can’t just rip through it say: “I get it! Done now!” I think it deserves some thought.  Some respect.

It also has some rather interesting calligraphy work too.

I found a couple of passages (comparative) that I really liked last night.  I’ll bold font them and will have to give you the first (Tao) and the then the second (Emerson) as I can’t put them beside each other as the book does.  I will put the Tao in italics.

When we renounce learning we have no troubles.
The ready “yes” and the flattering “yea”–
Small is the difference they display.
But mark their issues good and ill–
What space the gulf between shall fill?

The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased;
As if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower
in spring.
I alone seem listless and still, my desires having as yet
given no indication of their presence.
I am like an infant which has not yet smiled.
I look dejected and forlorn,
as if I had no home to go to.
The multitude of men all have enough and to spare.
My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos.

Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone
seem benighted.
They look full of discrimination, while I alone
am dull and confused.
I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if
I had nowhere to rest.
All men have their spheres of action, while I alone
seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer.

Thus I alone am different from other men, but I
value the Tao.


Away profane philosopher!
Seekest thou in nature the cause?
This refers to that, and that to the next,
And the next to the third, and everything refers.

The world rolls, the din of life
is never hushed,
The carnival, the masquerade is at its height;
Nobody drops his domino.

But I am only an experimenter;
Do not set the least value on what I do
or the least discredit on what I do not,
As if I pretended to settle anything as true of false;
I unsettle all things.

No facts are to me sacred, none are profane.
I simply experiment, an endless seeker,
with no past to my back.
I am a weed by the wall.
I see that I am a pensioner, not a cause,
but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water;
That I desire and look up,
And put myself in the attitude of reception;
But from some alien energy,
the visions come.

I must say that I love the Emerson one.  I really, really do! Emerson has always been a massive favourite of mine.

I hope you enjoyed.

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