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The wise seer of China: Laozi and the Tao-Te Ching
by Craig Pearson, PhD
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5 August 2010
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The article is another in a series of essays by Craig Pearson, PhD,* about great historical figures in world culture whose works have expressed a deep familiarity with the transcendental field of life. This one is about the wise seer Laozi (Lao Tzu), who lived in China in the 6th century BC.
To Laozi is attributed the Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Jing). 'Out of this great work emerged the philosophical and religious traditions known as Taoism (or Daoism),' Dr Pearson explains, 'which have been such a powerful force in Eastern Asia for more than two millennia, and which have exerted their influence in the West for the last two centuries.'
As in articles on Thoreau, Whitman, Tennyson, Rúmí, and others, Dr Pearson analyzes beautiful passages from the Tao Te Ching in terms of the knowledge and experience of transcendental consciousness—the fourth major state of consciousness, beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping—brought to light from the ancient Vedic tradition by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Describing Laozi's central teaching, Dr Pearson writes: 'The most important thing people can do in life, Laozi asserts . . . , is to gain a state of silent awareness—to open the mind to its source:
''The superior person settles his mind as the universe settles the stars in the sky. By connecting the mind with the subtle origin, he calms it. Once calmed it naturally expands, and ultimately his mind becomes as vast and immeasurable as the night sky.''
''Remain quiet. Discover the harmony in your own being. Embrace it. If you can do this, you will gain everything, and the world will become healthy again. If you can't, you will be lost in the shadows forever.''
'To this fundamental field of life,' Dr Pearson continues, 'Laozi gave the name Dao, or Tao. Dao is usually translated as the Way, or the Path. The term is often understood to mean ''nature.''
'If you practice the Transcendental Meditation technique and understand Maharishi's teaching about consciousness and Natural Law, Laozi's words shine with a new light.
'You'll notice immediately that this wise man is talking about transcending.** Many people who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique have had experiences just as he describes.' Dr Pearson says, explaining that, as many meditators realize, the Tao is not an abstract concept, but the field of pure consciousness, the source of thought deep within.
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* Dr Pearson is Executive Vice-President of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. He has served the University for 33 years, also as Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Director of Maharishi University of Management Press, Director of Freshman Composition, and Professor of Professional Writing. He holds a PhD in Maharishi Vedic Science from MUM and is the author of books on the development of full human potential, including The Complete Book of Yogic Flying.
© Copyright 2010 Maharishi Foundation USA
Global Good News comment:
** Transcending: The settling down of the mind to experience increasingly refined levels of the thinking process, eventually going beyond the finest level of thinking to experience pure awareness, the silent, unbounded field of transcendental consciousness, the basis of the mind's activity. Maharishi's technologies of consciousness, including the Transcendental Meditation technique, allow the individual to experience the effortless process of transcending in a systematic, reliable, repeatable manner.
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