Lao Tze

Leonardo da Vinci
 Lin Ji



Lao Tze:


Lao-Tzu, whose name means "old boy" or "old master," was a legendary Chinese sage and founder of Taoism. He was born in 604 BC in Henan, China. He was the chief archivist for the imperial court of the Chou dynasty. The life of Lao Tzu is shrouded in mystery. Many Sinologists believe that he is the historian whom Confucius consulted about ceremonies. Ssu-ma Ch’ien, the first great Chinese historian, who died in about 85 BC, commences his “Biographies” with a short account of Lao Tzu. He tell us that the philosopher had been a curator of the Royal Library of Chou and that mourning over the decadence of the dynasty, he wished to withdraw from the world and proceeded to the pass Hsien-kua.

Confucius came to Chou to consult Lao Tzu about ritual and spoke of the heroes of old. Lao Tzu said, “All those men of whom you speak have long since moldered away with their bones. Only their words remain. When a capable man’s time comes, he rises; I have heard that good merchants keep their goods buried deeply to make it look as if they had none and that a superior man whose character is perfected will feign stupidity. Give up, sir, your proud airs, your many wishes, mannerisms and extravagant claims. They won’t do you any good, sir! That’s all I have to tell you”. Confucius went off and said to his students, “I know that birds can fly and fish can swim and beasts can run. Snares can be set for things that rum, nets for those that swim and arrows for whatever flies. But dragons! I shall never know how they ride wind and cloud up into the sky. Today I saw Lao Tzu. What a dragon! – Ssu-ma Ch’ien, Historical Records.

According to legend, as an old man, Lao-Tzu left Chou for the seclusion of the mythical K'un-lun mountains, never to be seen again. Where he died is not known. Perhaps it was in Tibet. Before leaving his country, however, he allegedly communicated his ideas to a border guard, who subsequently compiled the 'Tao-te Ching' (The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue). The 'Tao-te Ching' is by far the most-translated Chinese literary work. The disciples and followers of Lao Tzu were priests and hermits who spent their lives in the study of Tao, from which they derived supernatural powers. By means of immortality drugs they could prolong their lives, they rode on winds and clouds and could be in more the one place at the same time.



Leo : 

One of the most conspicuous constellations in the northern hemisphere, Leo is a constellation of the Zodiac. The star Alpha (α) Leonis or Regulus is of the first magnitude. In Greek mythology this was respectively Leo (Λέων), representing the Nemean Lion, originally from the moon, and after his earthly stay, carried back to the heavens with his slayer Hercules. Early Hindu astronomers knew it as Asleha and Sinha, and it contained the constellations Magha and Purva Phalguni and Uttara Phalguni.

Leo is the principle of cosmic splendor. There is a natural and inherent magnificence in real greatness, which those who posses an element of greatness in themselves feel and respect. The human virtue is magnanimity. – Ceo Carter, Zodiac and the Soul.

Leo governs self-consciousness, pride, the affections, love of the self and others, creation, confidence and education. This is the sign of the central will, the inner consciousness, beyond the brain mind. Stability of the life current and the transmutation of consciousness from head to heart is shown in this sign. The work of nourishing, preserving and sustaining, being one of the chief Leo characteristics. This is the sign of power, vitality and organizing ability. It is the principal focus of the prana, or solar breath, hence gives the greatest stability of life.

Leo is a zodiacal sign, which has the attributes of what occult tradition understands as Fire. But while this element Fire in its Aries aspect refers to a universal process which operates regardless of particular conditions – it burns whatever it touches – The Leo type of Fire is the expression of an individually conscious will to burn, determined and directed by a particular purpose or need.



Leonardo da Vinci:


Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation.
Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the territory of Florence. He was the illegitimate son of Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine notary, and Caterina, a peasant who may have been a slave from the Middle East. At the age of 14, da Vinci began apprenticing with the artist Verrocchio. For six years, he learned a wide breadth of technical skills, including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing and sculpting. By the age of 20, he had qualified as a master artist in the Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop. In 1482, Lorenzo de' Medici, commissioned da Vinci to create a silver lyre and bring it to Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan, as a gesture of peace. He did so and from 1482 until 1499, Leonardo was commissioned to work on a great many projects. It was during this time that da Vinci painted The Last Supper.

Da Vinci's most well known painting, and arguably the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa (Gioconda), was a privately commissioned work and were completed sometime between 1505 and 1507. Of the painting's wide appeal, James Beck, an art historian at Columbia University, once explained, "It is the inherent spirituality of the human creature that Leonardo was able to in genuine to the picture that raises the human figure to some kind of majesty." Today, the Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, secured behind bulletproof glass, and is regarded as a priceless national treasure.

Francis I, King of France and patron of Leonardo da Vinci, once proclaimed in a conversation with the King of Navarre and the Cardinals of Ferrara and Lorraine that nobody in the world knew more than Leonardo. As much reverence as Francis I had for Leonardo’s sculpture, painting, and architecture, he expressly specified philosophy as the subject in which he thought Leonardo especially excelled.

Toward the end of his life, in about 1508, King Louis XII of France asked him to accompany him to Milan, and he went willingly. There, he stayed working on anatomy and other fields until 1512, when the French lost Milan. He then had to go to Rome. There, he stayed until his life was finished. He was very good friends with Guiliano de’ Medici, brother of the duke, and he was well housed and treated very kindly.

Most Geniuses such as Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare or Paracelsus were masters in just a single field. This simply isn’t the case with Leonardo. No subject matter was beyond his grasp, once he began meticulously dissecting it. For him, art and science in its many forms were inseparable which any of his invention tends to show. The connection between Leonardo Da Vinci and science is also present in any of his painted masterpieces. As a result of his boundless nature, he explored and mastered subjects as diverse as surgical anatomy, cartography, archaeology and engineering to botany (to just name a few!) whilst also earning his main livelihood from creating painted masterpieces such as the Last Supper painting.

Many people will probably accuse me of attempting to discredit men who are highly respected as being authorities in their field even though they have no science behind what they say. Many will refuse to acknowledge that my conclusions are instead drawn from real experience. Only through experience can you know what is true or false, and this is why wise men take care to only make claims about things that can be observed. Nothing true can come from ignorance, and trying to uphold unproven claims only leads to despair. - Leonardo da Vinci.

Lin Ji:


Lin Chi was born into a family named Shing in Nan-hua in what is now the province of Shandung. When he was young his ambition was to retire from the word. He entered a Buddhist monastery as a boy and devoted himself to study of the Vinaya School and the Sutras. In his early twenties he began to feel an urgent need to grasp the deep meaning of the scriptures through his own experience. When had been ordained, he began to study Ch’an, which he greatly admired. He set out on the easily two thousand kilometer-long pilgrimages to the south of China in order to seek instruction from the masters of the Southern School of Ch’an (Zen). Eventually he arrived at the monastery of Huang-po, where for about three years he lived as a monk. The experiences that Lin Chi had, which eventually led him to his enlightenment are reported in Blue-green Cliff Record (Pi-yen-lu), one of the most important koan collections of Ch’an literature.

           After his enlightenment Lin Chi trained further under Huang-po. Later he returned to the north, where he was invited to settle at Lin Chi Monastery. Here he soon gathered monks and lay people around him, whom he led to the way of Zen. During the next centuries, this was to be not only the most influential school of Ch’an, but also the most vital school of Buddhism in China. Lin Chi School represents dynamic, powerful Zen, in which people are demanded to experience enlightenment and realize this experience in their own lives. Lin Chi School was known for his unusual methods, such as shouting, hitting, and the use of paradox, which he employed to jolt students out of their fixed ways of thinking and habitual behavior.

Lin Chi said: “Sometimes the subject is snatched away but the object is not; sometimes the object is snatched away but the subject is not; sometimes both, subject an object are snatched away; and sometimes neither subject nor object are snatched away”.

The monk K’e Fu asked “What do you mean by snatching away the subject without snatching the object?”

The master replied: “On a warm day the fields are carpeted with flowers; the white hair of a baby is hanging down like silk”.

K’e Fu asked “What do you mean by snatching away the object without snatching the subject?”

The master replied: “Now that the royal writ runs throughout the land; the commander, free from the smoke of battle, goes abroad”.

K’e Fu asked, “What do you mean by snatching away both subject and object?”

The master replied: “Isolation is complete when all communications have been cut”.

K’e Fu asked, “What do you mean by neither subject nor object being snatched away?”

The master replied: “While the king ascends his precious throne old peasants sing their songs”. - Lu K’uan Yu, Ch’an and Zen Teaching II.

This is known as Lin Chi four methods of distinguishing and snatching away his students’ grasping of either subject, object, both or neither so as to strip them of all attachments and to enable them to realize the absolute. Lin Chi taught his disciples not to cling to teaching (object) or to ego (subject). After a student has been stripped of his grasping of both ego and teaching, all his contacts with the outside are cut off and his isolation is complete. If the student grasps neither subject nor object, he has nothing to be stripped of as he is already, like a king, enjoying his comfortable independence.

Lin Chi is described as using The Three Mysterious Gates to maintain the Ch’an emphasis on the non-conceptual nature of reality, while employing sutras and teachings to instruct his students:

The First Gate is the "mystery in the essence", the use of Buddhist philosophy, such as Yogacara to explain the interpenetration of all phenomena.

The Second Gate is the "mystery in the word", using the Hua Tou for "the process of gradually disentangling the students from the conceptual workings of the mind".

The Third Gate is the "mystery in the mystery", "involving completely non-conceptual expressions such as striking or shouting, which are intended to remove all of the defects implicit in conceptual understanding".