Tao Te Ching (Chapter 14)
Look, it cannot be seen – is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.
Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
Chapter 14 can be summarized by saying the Tao is a mystery. “She moves in mysterious ways” (“Mysterious Ways” by U2). According to the song, “It’s alright” that she moves in mysterious ways. Can you allow the Tao to move in mysterious ways? If you’re having difficulty with this, the song gives a suggestion: “If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel.” This means that you have to be humble enough to realize that there isn’t an answer to every question. Your intellect isn’t God! Excuse me, Terry, but I have a couple questions. If my intellect isn’t God, could it still be the Tao or could it be a dog (God spelled backwards)? Well those are real interesting questions that I choose to ignore.
The Magical Mystery Tour
Is this a circus? Then why are there dogs walking around in God costumes? “Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour. Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour.” And once you roll up in your favorite pimped-out vehicle, then you’ll hear “The magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away, waiting to take you away” (“The Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles). Who are the Beatles? I overheard an adolescent ask his mother that question recently. Back to the mystery tour.
Life is irrational. The Tao that is the source of life is irrational. Some Beatles songs are irrational. Even Greenspan talked about irrational exuberance. Life’s irrationality is “waiting to take you away.” And it’s waiting to take you to a fuller experience of life. The mystery.
The Market Mystery Tour
Image a dream in which the talking heads on financial news shows and your own talking head (your intellect) are riding a bus over a cliff singing “Too much, the Magic Bus” (“The Magic Bus” by The Who). Who? I already said, “The Who.” Symbolically, the magic dream bus represents the passengers’ collective market viewpoint, their “consensus reality.” The cliff represents the outer limits of the comfort zone of their belief systems. Symbolically going off a cliff means gaining a more complete worldview that embraces the irrational, the mystery. So don’t get too bus-y analyzing the market; rely on your cliff notes instead.