Tao Te Ching Commentary: Long and Short



“Long and short contrast one another”

What is considered long or short, is, again, a matter of perspective. Time and length are entirely relative according to one’s specific placement within the infinite manifestation of things. To an ant, a tree must seem like a ladder to the stars. But, to a giant in another dimension, all the variegated lights from the stars within our galaxy may just seem like so many compacted photons in the tip of a candle flame. The Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu was very fond of saying that man’s lifespan must seem like that of insect compared with trees that can live for thousands of year. How much smaller our lifespans must look when compared with the eternity of The Tao! The point being that we should not trick ourselves into thinking we know everything, when we are share a tiny blip of consciousness in an endless expanse of suchness. Only when we become one with everything will we know everything, because that knowledge will be what we are.


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