The Open Heart of Lao Tzu

A sound man’s heart is not shut within itself
But is open to other people’s hearts:
I find good people good,
And I find bad people good
If l am good enough;
I trust men of their word,
And I trust liars
If I am true enough;
I feel the heartbeats of others
Above my own
If I am enough of a father,
Enough of a son.

Lao Tzu


11 Responses to The Open Heart of Lao Tzu

  1. Hm, what translation is this from? Tao Te Ching! Been studying tai chi/chi gong and it’s been good to me. What body/energy work is there in sufi traditions? Or is salat the main thing?

  2. Irving says:

    Greetings of Peace Dear Donald:

    I don’t know which translation it is from, merely saw it on a newsgroup and it resonated in me. I will try and find out though.

    There is a Sufi healing tradition that involves a form of energy work, but is not called that, and of course salat/prayer is a form of energy :) But from my own experience, the kind of body/energy work you are speaking of comes naturally to some after many years on the path, as God wills, and is a form of God’s love transmitted through us. This link to an old post on Healing through Compassion is one example of what I mean:

    Ya Haqq!

  3. Nick Vittum says:

    The translation is Witter Bynner’s. An older translation, and an unusual one, but quite wonderful in some of the verses.


  4. Rizal Affif says:

    Yep it’s Tao Te Ching, a very wise teaching from Lao Tzu. Very nice translation though, thank you for sharing here :)

  5. Hajar Alwi says:

    Assalamualaikum dearest brother Irving,

    I’ve been reading Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching for quite some time and reaped immense benefits from it. There is so much wisdom involved. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece. :)

  6. Aafke says:

    it’s beautiful, but as a life philosophy it’s going to get you into trouble.
    I am trying not to be too much like this…

  7. Irving says:

    Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

    Thank you all for the comments, and Nick, for the name of the translator :) And my dear Aafke, if you are trying NOT to be like this, then you already are by your nature :) I pray that you continue to be kind to the ungrateful, truthful to liars, generous to misers, and loving to those that don’t return it :)

    Ya Haqq!

  8. Aafke-Art says:

    Irving, I was quite serious. I am tired of being nice to people, helping them and getting a knife in the back as a thank-you.
    But thus far I have only managed to just stay away from the people who are really bad for me ;)
    Spreading sweetness and light is my default programming ;)

  9. Irving says:

    I know you are serious, dear Aafke :) In the final reckoning however, kindness and love are what you bring to place on the scales of your life, and I think you will be well accounted for :)

    Ya Haqq!

  10. Aafke-Art says:

    Thank you Irving. I have a great respect for you and your words mean much to me.

  11. Eric T says:

    Thanks for the lovely quote from Lao Tzu. And it’s great to see you own work, Master of the Jinn, and your blog going from strength to strength, Irving!

    Take care, eric t.

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