On the Wisdom of Knife Wielding

The master takes a knife and butters her toast; she creates no attachments to fools, or the wise

On the Wisdom of Knife Wielding

Fools take
a knife
and stab
people in
the back.

The wise take
a knife,
cut the cord,
& free themselves
from the fools.

The master takes
a knife
and butters her toast;
she creates no attachments
to fools,
or the wise.

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

~ Laozi, Dao de Jing, Chapter 7
(trans. Stephen Mitchell)

The wise do not suffer fools; fools cannot cause the Master suffering. Because she has let go of herself, the Master has let go of others, allows them to be who they are. She knows better than to argue with a fool, but is present for all, foolish or wise, through the fulfillment of her detachment. So, she leads from behind with the calm steadfastness of a rock, and the effortless suppleness of the river flowing around it. She uses tools for their intended purpose rather than a weapon for attack or defense.

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