The five colors blind the eye.

The five tones deafen the ear.

The five flavors dull the taste.

Racing and hunting madden the mind.

Precious things lead one astray.

Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees.

He lets go of that and chooses this.


Verse twelve of the Tao Te Ching encourages us to live with inner conviction, oftentimes we are guided by outer senses; ignoring our inner vision. This leads to a life of pleasure seeking with the material world. Lao-tzu says if we choose to seek the pleasures of our five senses, we will madden our mind. You will never achieve a state of peace when you seek the pleasures of the material world because it is never enough. You will always need more power, possessions, or greater wealth. We will wake up every morning seeking these pleasures and ignoring the beauty behind what lies beyond your outer senses. This will impede our growth as a person.

Lao-tzu says we should be guided by what we feel as opposed to what we see. Letting go of that and choosing this is hard in the busy consumer society we live in. Many of us are so consumed with our inner senses of stress; we are unable to enjoy life.

If we can let go of our stress, and choose peace; our depression and stress will decrease. The Eastern religions encourage us to live in the moment as observers allowing things to come and go, allowing our negative and positive energies to come and go. The true sages of the East prefer what is within, not what is without. The sage sees the silliness appearances; avoiding the lure of success and possessions. This frame of mind and faith leads the sage to enlightenment.   

We need to look beyond our senses; otherwise we lose touch with what lies beyond them. Inner conviction comes down to ones faith. I spend much of my religious energy trying to see a higher power through what has been created. In essence faith is the belief in something you cannot see, or even explain. I can’t seem to look beyond the world of appearances when it comes to religion. I do not let this lack of faith take away from the moral and ethical teachings of religions.

What do you think?

  1. For me, they key to the teachings of Lao Tzu & Chuang Tzu is that trying to do anything defeats the purpose. If a person “tries” to be happy or “tries” to reduce tension, the trying itself creates the stress the person wants to alleviate.

    As Master Yoda eloquently said, “There is no try. Do.”

  2. This website about sweet poetry is amazingly beautiful… I admire poems.. Another poetry page i visit a bucket load is named Poetry-of …

  3. This sums up what I strive for.

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