Chapter 12

五色令人目盲,

五音令人耳聋,

五味令人口爽,

驰骋畋猎令人心发狂,

难得之货令人行妨。

是以圣人,

為腹不為目,

故去彼取此

The eyes of the person gone wild on the five sights, are blind.

The ears of the person driven wild by the five cries, are deaf.

The taste of the person driven wild by the five savours is intoxicated.

The mind of the person driven wild by the chase is crazy.

The practice of a person driven wild by rare goods is hindered

Therefore the sage acts from the belly, not from the eye;

Dying to the one, he chooses the other.

COMMENTARY

The text favours a simple, down to earth life. When hungry, eat. When cold, chop wood and make a fire. When tired, sleep. This is to act from the belly. The basic instincts perform their task and we should attend to them. They are a reliable guide.

There is a tendency in translating texts into modern languages to introduce our scientific bias, but in doing so we lose some of the flavour and animation of the original text. For instance, the first three lines mention sight, sound and taste, but we should take this as referring to all the senses. The first line literally says “Five colour compelled man eyes blind”. Colour, however, has the same double sense as it does in English, as when we say, for instance, that a person led a colourful life and the characters 色令 taken as a unit mean “to lose one's head” over something.

It may well be that there is no intention here to make reference to a list of five sounds or a list of five tastes; the five may simply be an abbreviation for five senses. In any case, the general meaning is clear enough, that there are innumerable things that can lead to us getting carried away into states in which we lose all sense of proportion and cease to experience things as they actually are. The sage is one who lets these intoxications die away so as to return to a more sane and sober life.

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ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

Study Grouop

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on November 13, 2017 at 8:04 0 Comments

We had our regular skype study group on Saturday evening. Three people attended including myself and we studied some of Dharmavidya’s writings and had very helpful discussions about subjects such as Buddhist prayer, accepting death and being Human. The next group will be on Saturday the 25th at 9.30pm. This late time is due to the fact that some of our members are overseas in different time zones. if you would like to join us please email me adamdunsby@hotmail.com or skype me…

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ON BEING LIBERALLY DOGMATIC (rather than dogmatically liberal)

Posted by David Brazier on November 8, 2017 at 11:30 0 Comments

Last night I had a conversation in a restaurant in which a person reported the view that the religion of the future would be Zen because Zen was a religion without dogmas. This statement struck me with particular force because at the moment I am in the middle of reviewing a draft chapter by another author on "Eastern Meditation Meets the West" for a future publication. This chapter highlights the cultural filters that ideas have to pass through in order to get a stamp of approval by our…

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Relationship.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on September 9, 2017 at 20:56 0 Comments

Found this on a Chogyam Trungpa video…

''The relationship between student and teacher is like a dance…

In relating with the teacher, your critical input and your surrendering work together. They’re not working against each other. The more input you get from the teacher and the phenomenal world and the more you develop, at the same time, the more you question. So there is a kind of dance taking place between the teacher and yourself. You are not particularly trying to switch off…

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Reflections on Foolishness.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on September 5, 2017 at 11:50 2 Comments

I sometimes can’t believe how defective I am!! Whilst despairing of myself the other day I remembered a Shinran teaching that I found some time ago. It really made me think and reinforced my resolve to practice.

It is a Pureland teaching about the depth of our sin preventing us from being genuinely good. Our efforts to be decent, caring beings are always based in and therefore contaminated by our self centredness, greed hatred and delusion. This is due to the…

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