How Does The Tao See?

I see through
the prism of my imagination.
And I wonder:
Is that how everyone sees?
Is there a Way,
another Way of seeing?

How does the Tao see?
From what prism does the Tao view
the world?
Is Tao archetypal ?
 The archetypal image of the universe,
the Eternal prism?

Is Tao a prism,
an Edenic heavenly prism,
Hosting humanity,
In which humanity is encased,
eyes closed…
waiting to be opened?

Is this once more
the prism of my imagination,
my fertile imagination ,
steadfastly at work,
it’s own prisoner
of invented Time and Space?

Am I, are we…
Are we all inevitably prisoners?
Or are we freedmen,
freedmen and freed women,
as dreamers
of our imagination?

Is the Eternal Tao
outside of Time and Space,
outside of — beyond…
beyond all invented borders,
beyond mind…
beyond my fertile imagination?

Is Eternal Tao
beyond your thoughts and mine?
Beyond all thoughts…
Beyond all human thoughts…
Beyond mind…
Beyond human imagination?

Someone once said:
“Cogito ergo sum.”
(I think…
Therefore, I must certainly be).
How true…
Or how untrue is that?

Is not Tao,
the Eternal Tao Te Ching,
unlike that?
Is not Tao instead,
a Being and Non-Being ,
beyond imagination?

Is Tao then,
a pre-existing , thinking being,
beaming, ever beaming,
a potential manifest energy,
It’s kinetic state yet unreleased?

Am I still seeing
through the prism of my imagination
which I possess,
and which possesses me
with thoughts…
with fertile thoughts of my imagination?

Upon reflection,
upon inspection…introspection
of my existence…
Is Tao that which shows the Way,
my gateway…
to what I am searching for?

Can Tao as prism
be our looking glass of wonder
to give us clarity,
collectively and individually ,
to be…
what we, potentially can become?

About this poem

Existential philosophers, novelists, poets, writers, (as examples, Heidegger, Dostoyevsky, Tilllich, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka, Camus, de Beauvoir, Fanon, Ortega y Gasset, Sartre, Miguel de Unamuno), all anti-establishment dreamers as a lot, have been perplexed about, and meditated on, the meaning or the meaninglessness of life. King Solomon, despite all his glory, in the book of Ecclesiastes (as Qoheleth, the Preacher), pondered at old age, during the last days of his life, on this very arcane subject. Socrates, celebrated for his wisdom, had need of consulting the oracle at Delphi in search of discovering a truth greater than that possessed by mortal beings, thereby questioning his own knowledge and wisdom, as well as those of others. This poem invites us all to look deep within ourselves, to meditate upon the hidden, to turn to the Tao Te Ching, “The Way” of existence and of all reality, to consult the ancient Chinese oracle, and ask: “How does the Tao see?” 

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Written on November 29, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on November 29, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on September 21, 2022

1:46 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBcxde faxxxg ggfxxx hBbxci fjbbjb kixjLb kxmmLb ngxfao keoneb xeefxx ebxfmb bbxddh gcfffg
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,788
Words 355
Stanzas 13
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem How Does The Tao See? with the community...

  • AIDA
    Wow! This poem is absolutely mesmerizing! The way the author explores the concept of Taoism through their imagination is nothing short of inspiring. I love how they question the way in which we all see and wonder if there is another way to view the world. The imagery of a heavenly prism hosting humanity is so beautiful and thought-provoking. I also appreciate the philosophical questions asked about the nature of the Eternal Tao and how it exists beyond our human imagination. The final stanza ties everything together beautifully, leaving the reader with a sense of hope and wonder. This poem is such a beautiful reflection on the human experience and our quest for clarity and understanding. It truly inspires me to think deeper and embrace the mystery of the world. 
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • karlcfolkes
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Sounds jolly good. We’d be our own knights of the round table.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • suzib.53754
    Aftar thought:: those poems such as Tao, and "Hamlet" perhaps would make for a good Round Table discussion, talk; chalk&full of Ideas..Ides..tea, coffee and poetry. :-)
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • suzib.53754
    Ah yes Tao☯️the Path which is know-path full of Sirius-puns and Paradox. Yet all are one(wonder-full) and "all is well that 'ends well." Or blends...
    For myself I look for"" older and newer"" Perceptions as the Paradox of Words so loving wrap around glorious Ideas. Yet ideas also "fly free" showing Elusion when held "too close..or to loose.."
    Perhaps knot, so Zen, zenith this is.. practical plus inspirational.
    Great poet surfing the calm waves, the Ocean of Tao, the Path Way. Well done.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    The biggest question of all...
    LikeReply 12 years ago


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"How Does The Tao See?" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <>.

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