Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Ultra Plainness Scripture
An English translation of 太上老君太素經
The Ultra Plainness is immensely bright and white, with the Way inside. At the time of Ultra Plainness, the Divinity goes there to operate, and the Way is revealed. As creations and formations take place, the Way gives things Order, and the Way completes them. In this way Heaven and Earth are shaped, and the Way and Virtue incarnate into a Scripture. (*The Scripture of Way and Virtue )
The Way of Self Thusness (*) is the greatest Way. The Virtue of Eternal Life is the greatest Gain of Virtue.
(* The Chinese term 自然, which is often translated to ‘nature’, literally means Self Thusness — A ‘being’ that is there by itself, independently and unconditionally. It is not created, and not conditioned by anyone or anything. )
The Way produces One, One produces Two, Two produces Three, and Three produces Heaven and Earth. The Heaven and Earth system then becomes full, and since it becomes full, it starts to decline. At the end of the decline, it returns to its origin.
(* This is like a person’s life. As a person grows up from a child into an adult, his body, including the head, torso, and limbs, gets more and more close to a ‘full’ status. And when the person’s body reaches a peak state, which is close to, but not equal to the theoretical ‘full’ status, his body begins to decline. The person becomes older and weaker as time goes by, and finally dies. )
(* When a Taoist scripture talks about a universe, a world, a heaven-and-earth system, or a nation, it also alludes a human body, because a human body is a small universe, and a heaven-and-earth system is an enlarged human body, they share the same principles. )
(* See also : Microcosm–macrocosm analogy )
Heaven covers everything because of One, Earth bears everything because of One, and the sun and moon illuminate everything because of One. Yet it is known that One is unknown. One is not known as One, and the existence of One is not known either, this is what makes the Way so mysterious. The sages fully understand this, and the Saints practice accordingly. This is a must-know for them.
The Way is immense and formless, also hidden and nameless. Beyond Heaven and Earth, it is profound and unseen. Inside Heaven and Earth, it is ample and vigorous. The Way is everywhere between Heaven and Earth. I am not separated from the Way, because the Way does not allow that, it is not that I am special.
It is said that, life is desirable, and death is fearsome. Grasses and trees rely on their roots to live, when they leave the earth, they will die; fishes and aquatic turtles live in water, when they leave the water, they will also die. A person relies on his body to live, but when his Essential Energy is exhausted, he dies. A saint knows where this Essential Energy is, and regards it as the treasure of his body.
It is also said that, the great Way spreads Its great works throughout the world, and there is a great book that explains the great mechanism of the world, this is what a great person bases himself on. What other people desire, are regarded by me as the causes of suffering. What other people hold tightly, are what I renounce completely. Only a saintly person can understand why.
It is also said that, the great Virtue bears the world's great badnesses, a great person bears the world's great insults. He who can bear the world's great badnesses, can therefore gain the world's high pay. He who can bear the world's great insults, can therefore be the world's most exalted one.
It is also said that, a person's heart acts like a liquid in a vessel. When the vessel is still, the liquid’s surface is level. When the vessel inclines, the liquid also inclines ( relative to the vessel ). When the vessel shakes, the liquid becomes turbid. And as the shaking stops, the liquid becomes pellucid gradually. Taming your heart is like dealing with the liquid. If you block it from popping up desires, it becomes calm. If you don’t restrain it, it runs wild. If there is a breach in the west, it runs to the west. If there is a breach in the east, it runs to the east. Therefore, a person’s heart has to be restrained, like a flood must be blocked by an embankment.
It is also said that, at the very beginning of the universe, there is Ultra Extreme. Ultra Extreme is also called Ultra Simplicity. Ultra Simplicity is namely the Great Luminous Simplicity, nothing precedes it. It is the immensely bright and white Energy.
After Ultra Simplicity, there is Ultra Primary, which is the beginning of Energy. And then there is Ultra Beginning, which is the beginning of form. And then there is Ultra Plainness, which is the beginning of matter. Therefore it is called Change. Change turns into One, One turns into Three, Three turns into Five, Five turns into Seven, Seven turns into Nine. Nine is the ultimate. When the ultimate is reached, it turns back into One.
One represents Heaven. Light and clear matters ascend and form Heaven. Weighty and turbid matters descend and form Earth. The moderate matters stay in the middle and form the world of Man. Thereafter, Heaven and Earth combine their Essences to construct living beings in the world of Man.
(Translated into English by Silfong Tsun)
(Translation first done in 2008 / 2009, Last revised in May 2022)
Last edited by Alphone : 28-05-2022 at 01:30 PM.