Look, it cannot be seen – it 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.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.)
This is my true story, on how I experienced the Dao through the Voice I heard.
“On days when everything seems like it’s over, remember my voice…remember my voice…remember my voice.” And just like that, I remembered. My mind took me back to an extraordinary occurrence that took place in my life many years ago. It was from an unforgettable instance that forever changed the course of my life. It was the first and most precious conversation I ever had with “the Voice.”
After the passing of my beloved husband, I left the field of science and went into the insurance industry. I thought it would be a change for the better, but right from the get-go, this new career did not seem to fit me. I decided to take a break for a year to give myself some time to figure out what I should do next with my life. So, in the summer of 1999, I traveled to Houston for a week. I figured a change in my surroundings would help quiet my mind and provide me with some much-needed direction. When I returned home, my neighbors delivered the horrible news to me that they had lost their daughter in a car accident. I was so taken aback by it all that all I could do was cry with them.
That night at about half past two in the morning, I suddenly woke up. I sensed I was not alone in my bedroom, yet I wasn’t scared. Instead, this otherworldly presence felt very peaceful. For some reason, and without hesitation, I immediately picked up my pen and journal and began writing all that was transpiring.
“Who are you? Are you the Lord?” I heard myself asking.
“Yes,” He answered. And this was the beginning of my very first conversation with The Voice. I had heard The Voice before, but never had the awareness nor the courage to try to engage it in conversation before. Our discussion did not unfold in the traditional vocal and auditory sense, but almost telepathically. I did not hear an actual voice with my ears, but with my head and my heart. I did not respond with my voice, but with my head and my heart.
“Where are you?” I asked. It was dark in the room, and I could not see anything, so I asked again.
“In your heart,” The Voice responded.
“Where?” I asked again, a bit confused by the previous answer.
“In your heart.”
“In my heart,” I tried to confirm his answer.
“Whenever you seek me, I am always here.”
What came next surprised even me: “Why did you take my husband?” I asked.
Shocked by my question, I realized I had not let go of my deceased husband, even after all these years.
“You would not understand now, but I will replace him with myself.”
He was right. I didn’t understand. The conversation went on like this for a while until I abruptly asked again: “Why did you take my husband away from me?”
“As I said, you will not understand, but my love is boundless. “
There was something in The Voice that provided me with the most reassuring feeling and knowing that He is not just by my side, but in my heart as well. Wherever I am, He is always with me.
The voiceless, imageless, and formless surpass the world of the voice, the image, and the form. Our eyes will not be able to see, nor can our ears be able to hear, because it goes beyond the physical presence. It seemed to be nonexistent and yet it is there. We can only use our hearts to listen to it and use our hearts to see the invisible.
Now, I know it is the “Dao.”