The Tao of Golfism

Spring, looking toward clubhouse from number 4 fairway.

Spring, looking toward clubhouse from number 4 fairway.

 

I recently started rereading Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, and it hit me that the Tao can be completely understood through golf. Taking the translation by Dr. Stanley Rosenthal (link) and replacing Tao with golfism, and it reveals so much about both as they seem to be one and the same. See excerpt with modifications below. 

 

1. THE EMBODIMENT OF golfism

Even the finest teaching is not golfism itself.

Even the finest name is insufficient to define it.

Without words, golfism can be experienced,

and without a name, it can be known.

 

To conduct one’s life according to golfism,

is to conduct one’s life without regrets;

to realize that potential within oneself

which is of benefit to all.

 

Though words or names are not required

to live one’s life this way,

to describe it, words and names are used,

that we might better clarify

the way of which we speak,

without confusing it with other ways

in which an individual might choose to live.

 

Through knowledge, intellectual thought and words,

the manifestations of golfism are known,

but without such intellectual intent

we might experience golfism itself.

 

Both knowledge and experience are real,

but reality has many forms,

which seem to cause complexity.

 

By using the means appropriate,

we extend ourselves beyond

the barriers of such complexity,

and so experience golfism.

 

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