April 8

The Comb

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Blog | 1 Comment

Art by Alexi Berry

Art by Alexi Berry

The following is an excerpt from the book “Everyday Tao” by Deng Ming Dao. I found this passage especially enlightening and wanted to share it:

How strange a comb is. It enters the hair and separates the strands. But afterward, the hair falls together in an orderly mass.How clever a comb is. When it is put into hair, it can stay there and hold the hair in place. Yet it does so without exerting itself. It borrows the strength from the hair.

How even a comb is. Its effectiveness is due to its regular and evenly spaced teeth. To be regular and know intervals-how worth of emulation those qualities are.

How useful a comb is. Without it, we could not untangle our hair. Would that any of us could be so useful in sorting out the confusion of daily life.

How decisive a comb is. When wielded on its edge, it can part the hair with a swordlike absoluteness. If only we could learn to part the tangles of delusion with such surety.

How humble a comb is. It will lie in its owner’s tray without complaint, happy to do its single function. In this way, it is modest and yet survives. Other implements are battered in their function-hammers, knives, millstones are all worn down in their functions, but the comb undertakes no such labor and is preserved.

How gentle a comb is. It has teeth, and yet it does not bite. Could we be so careful with our strength?

How like a comb are persons of Tao. Such persons enter into the thick of entanglements and yet leave nothing behind. Such persons add nothing and take nothing away. Such persons leave nothing untouched and yet afterward leave no trace of their own.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 9:35 AM and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “The Comb”

  1. Chet Bortz on April 8th, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Very interesting excerpt. Thanks for sharing this Will.

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