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Retreat

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There is a time for action, but not now;
Preserve your latent energies; just watch.
The case is critical, and if you botch
This exercise, it might derange the Dao--
No! Dao eternal, solid as the sea,
Cannot be modified by you or me
You might well ask, "in what way are we free,
If ultimately Dao is destiny?"

Like gravity, the Dao is weak, but firm
We're bound for paradise at end of day
But we may choose our path along The Way--
We walk or crawl or dance or march or squirm.
The Dao conveys a message, deep and true
Without prescribing what we are to do.

-- JJM = #33 in the I Ching Sonnet Project


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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Janet Supriano

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Perfect! Calms and disturbs at the same time. Earth Life at its best. A vantage point only...not knowing the big picture.



Submitted on Monday, Jan 13, 2020 at 4:24:59 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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"We walk or crawl or dance or march or squirm." It is rare, but here I find myself in the middle with "dance."

Submitted on Monday, Jan 13, 2020 at 8:41:01 PM

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Josh Mitteldorf

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Reply to Chuck Nafziger:   New Content

Yes - this was the central vision that got me excited about this poem. I do think that there is something like fate, operating on a time scale of many lifetimes, carrying us toward a destiny of more love and openness. But we have free will to the extent that we can choose to get there dancing along The Way or by kicking and squirming.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 13, 2020 at 8:54:10 PM

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nelswight

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Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

Hey, Josh, I enjoy and admire your eloquent scriptives. For many periods of being I've been interested/following thoughts of ancient Chinese I Ching, since reading Charles Lamb while at UConn. He said that 'everything comes to us in a mixture, the good with the bad'. At the time we were compounding 'mixtures' in pharmacy, and the mix accelerated. In my mind, i ching is distilled wisdom.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 13, 2020 at 9:22:24 PM

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