Tam Tự Kinh: Three-Word Book: 1:1


Chapter 1


  1. 人之初, 性本善;
    Nhân chi sơ, tính bổn thiện;
    People are born naturally good;

    The idea of babies being born naturally good, and then slowly devolve into monsters due solely to their environment is something that both Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky have proposed.Their proposal, and indeed this very first sentence of the Three Word Book, discounts multigenerational genetic memory, past lives’ memories, and that spark of individualism that mothers throughout the ages have noticed each of their newborns completely own.

    The truth is, as most truths tend to go, somewhere in the middle.  According to cognitive scientist Paul Bloom,  Babies tend to be good, but only to those who are of their clan, their kin, their friends, to those they interact with.  They are utterly cold-blooded toward strangers, especially if those strangers have different accents and don’t look like their family members. To some extent, babies seem to be natural-born bigots.

    The objective, then, to our 3D existence, is to expand this altruistic tendency outward, moving in ever wider concentric circles, from the core family, to the core community, to the core nation, to the core ethnicity, to the core human race, and onward to the rest of sentient life scattered throughout the Universe.

    How wide our altruistic circle grows is a good indication of our level of personal growth, and our personal growth cannot stop at simply loving the human race.  There is a Universe of NON-HUMAN life out there, waiting for us to learn how to love.

    Did you think it was EVER anything else that you needed to learn?  LOVE is your ONLY lesson.

    (Sigh).  This is only the first line of the entire book!!!!  I can’t write this much annotation for each line.  I’d never get this book finished!  (Bangs head on desk)

  2. 性相近,習相遠.
    Tính tương cận, tập tương viễn.
    Similar in nature, dissimilar in life experiences.

    The second line states that humans are similar in nature, but are differentiated solely through life experiences.  The book leans very heavily towards the nurture side of human psychology and completely misrepresents the nature side.

    If the babies are born all good, then why would there need to be such an overwhelming effort at training and development throughout the life cycle of the human being?  According to the first line, they have already achieved enlightenment at birth, and any other attempts to teach them anything else will only taint them.

    The reality is, in this third density, growth is needed to advance the human curriculum forward.  Babies cannot be left to their own devices, as altruistic their tendencies are towards those they love.  Their souls have not yet reached the required advanced state whereby they no longer need to return to third density.  Further soul development is needed, especially once the baby moves beyond the confines of the cradle.

    Outside the safety of the home, there are a great many unknowns.  These unknowns are the dissimilar life lessons, tailored to each baby’s needs, giving him/her, all the necessary lessons s/he will need in order to grasp each age-relevant lessons.

    (bleh…I only got to the second line…)

  3. 苟不教,性乃遷
    Cẩu bất giáo, tính nãi thiên;
    Lacking in teachings, children’s character traits deteriorate

    I can’t argue with this line.  A child left to its own devices, without parental guidance, will deteriorate mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

  4. 教之道,貴以專
    Giáo chi đạo, quí dĩ chuyên.
    Teach the way, pass on the values

    This line encourages those who have the abilities to spread the teachings of the way (the Tao/đạo) far and wide so that values may be passed onto future generations.

    (lookie that…embedded in a book such as this, and there is still mention of the Tao)

15 thoughts on “Tam Tự Kinh: Three-Word Book: 1:1

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  1. Taobabe,
    Thanks for all your work over the year, and Happy Fourth of July!
    This topic is for me a little bitter~sweet…my oldest daughter is off to Columbia U this August, and only two years before my youngest is on her way also…it seems like such a few moments ago I was imagining how these two babes’ essences would unfold, how would I find out about making sure they knew all they needed and now at 18 and 16 they are both so self sufficient, headstrong young women…now the Independence Days are involving letting go much more than providing any guidance…such Change!



  2. “There is a Universe of NON-HUMAN life out there, waiting for us to learn how to love.”

    This stands out for me. I’ve been around for quite a few years, and I’m at a very late stage in life to be trying to figure out what I’m gonna be when I grow up, but I’ve been wrestling with that for some time. I’ve always loved many things, and if “The way to know life is to love many things”, as Vincent Van Gogh said, then I guess I know life a bit. And yet I’ve spent decades doing work that didn’t hit me where I live. I know there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

    But what I’ve become increasingly clear on in the last little while, is that probably the two things nearest and dearest to my core are music and nature conservation. Definitely not what I’ve been doing for work all these years. Now I have to figure out how to transition to making these more central to how I spend my time and effort.
    “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty” (Albert Einstein)

    I consider myself to be a philosophical Taoist, but haven’t been approaching life much different than a typical atheist. Perhaps a more spiritual approach would be better. However I sure do like to analyze stuff. Kinda like you, Taobabe. Maybe that’s part of the reason I have such a big fat crush on you. 😛


  3. taobabe,

    I think I’ve figured out a really effective, fun, ‘babe Way (or even ‘dude Way :)) to modernize I Ching divination AND get people’s feet wet with code…AND get it into a piece of jewelry (well, if you call a belt-buckle jewelry)

    The Rasberry Pi is a 5$ (you read that right, $5) single board computer.

    Not only does it allow you to program in Python, it has it’s own version of the game MINECRAFT, for free…which enables even non-programmers to show MINECRAFT how to do things.

    In this case, doing things will be taobabe style I Ching divinations.

    Here’s a really ‘babe / ‘dude level video overview of running MINECRAFT on the Rasberry Pi…keep in MINEd anyone participating in this construction project could also read every one of your blog posts on the same 5$ computer…not sure about viewing your animations…if they are GIFs that should be fine. Watch this video if you have time…who knows, you might become interested in MINE-ing a creation of your own…after you watcg it I believe you will see MINECRAFT data structures are a natural for the I CHING (blocks, stones, lava, teleporting).

    Disclaimer:it was never my intention to pull you against your will into coding…but if it happens, it happens:))


  4. Allan
    Wow. I have to admit. I’ve been talking about the I Ching being the bones of an ancient computer language for awhile now, but I never really thought about coding any language. It seems to be very involved, and something that I may not have the technical knowhow to do. My degree is in English, not computer science, so I’m completely lacking in that aspect of knowledge.

    Had someone told me back in my teen years to go study computer science, I might have done so. Sadly, I chose English due to a stupid reason. I liked to read and write, and I didn’t want to have to steal the study time to read and write, so I folded what I liked into what I studied.

    I’m so stupid. 😀 I could have learned something new with my time at University, instead of doing the same old thing I did for fun any way.

    I’ll take a look at python. Not sure what I’ll do with it, but no learning is ever wasted.


  5. taobabe,
    You are a smart, smart woman. Glad to see you are open to picking up some programming experience. Python is much more a LANGUAGE, much less a CODE-ing technology. Many schools are beginning to place comp-sci in the language department because it is after all (for a while more anyway) a human language.

    I bet you would be brilliant at this…if you patienty take it in ‘babe-ey steps :))


  6. Ron,
    I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, all my life. Since I grew up without parents, I had to figure out everything on my own, and I’m still not that good at it. I’m still trying to figure out life, hence the Taobabe blog. My parent/advisor/Sifu is the philosophy of Taoism. She has been my steady guide for all these years, and I have learned to trust her wisdom.

    Atheism is simply the lack of belief in anything divine. But what if the divine is within us? Would we have to forsake the belief in ourselves, just to fulfil that atheistic bent? In my very humble opinion, we don’t need to be that inflexible. Once we believe in ourselves, all things magical begin to occur in that strange, mystical, serendipitous way. We are divine beings, after all, hanging out in a 3D game sim and using this avatar to interact with one another.

    If you like music and nature conservation, perhaps that is what you should focus your energies on. Life is too short to waste doing things that you don’t enjoy. I like music too, but I haven’t touched my guitar in years, because I was focusing on different other things that I enjoy doing (clay sculpting, writing, photography etc.). I really should get back to writing music again. I miss writing my own music. (after I figure out how python works)…


  7. How about using Python…to write music? Rasberry Pi has Sonic Pi developed by a PHD in the UK…specifically to use code to create music…but walk before you run:)

    This free PDF is the book I’m working through first. Chosen because the exercise and tutorial content is duplicated in a different book for each language (Python, C++…and Java) which will make it more intuitive to pick up another after Python if you so choose using examples you have already comprehended. The second computer language you learn is MUCH easier than the first because that’s when you realize how similar they are (mostly). I would take assembly language off that list because it truly is code…whereas Python, Sonic Pi (a music creation language with the Ruby language hidden within it) is much closer to humanspeak.

    Click to access thinkCSpy.pdf

    Using the elements in the book, another site demos the examples in the above link in ‘learn to program live’ fashion:



  8. Allan
    Learning to make music with python is going to take me awhile. This means I have to stop writing this blog for awhile. Choices, choices…

    My biggest problem is that I have too many cool things to do, and not enough time to do any of them. If I could live for another century, I might fit in more of the things I want to do. 😀


  9. Taobabe,

    Allan is right about you being very smart. Sounds like he is too, ’cause it takes one to know one.

    You said ” I really should get back to writing music again”… after figuring out Python. You can do anything in this world that you want – but you can’t do everything. I wouldn’t presume to suggest how you should spend your time, but it sounds to me like you keep yourself pretty busy. By the way I seem to recall hearing you sing on YouTube (?) a few months back, and enjoying it.

    I also grew up without my father, and my mother, well, let’s say she did the best she knew how to do. It sure does make life challenging.

    On a completely different note, I found your statement that “babies seem to be natural-born bigots” interesting. It might explain a few things. I’m Canadian, and I just can’t believe all the racist crap going on south of the border. I’ve been pretty actively trying to squash that in my own life for the last few years. We didn’t have anything in my home town but white folks and a very few asians, so I grew up kind of blissfully unaware of racism. My family used to call brazil nuts “nigger toes”, but being a kid, I never made the connection. Seems pretty horrifying to me now. I used to want to marry a non-white girl, just to piss them all off, or at least, to find out if any of them would be jerks. But I grew out of wanting to piss people off. Just wanna live a good life and be true to my values, and if someone doesn’t like it, too bad for them.

    I guess I can’t really call myself an atheist. I’m a Taoist. But some Taoists have so many rules and things to remember, that I just can’t get into it. I abhor Abrahamic religions for that reason. We all seek to understand life and the universe, but so many people think they have it all figured out, and it’s mostly just a bunch of crap someone’s made up. But I am a Taoist. Just a baby Taoist. The universe is flowing with intelligence and energies that I don’t understand. I don’t expect I ever will, but perhaps I can learn to live more in harmony with it. That’s why I came here in the first place. I dunno if you have any answers for me in all your posts, haven’t read them all, but I do like your brain. 🙂

    By the way, not that it matters, but Ron’s not my real name, I’m just being paranoid about putting my details on the net.


  10. Ron,
    Hahaha (ROFLMAO). You just touched upon something that I was completely unaware of. I am a fake Taoist. This means I have no idea WHAT all the ‘rules and things to remember’ are because I have never been formally trained in Taoism.

    Everything I ever learned about Taoism, I learned from a stinking bear named Pooh. 😀

    I augment what Pooh says along with a book called I Ching, which I further augmented with yet another book called Tao Te Ching.

    I know that pure Taoists have a lot of secrets which are not supposed to be told for fear of those secrets being exploited. I respect that. I don’t believe I’ve touched any of those ‘secrets’ since I’m not privy to them. Everything I have written about is stuff I learned from these books, but as you know full well, Taoism is rather cryptic at times.

    I try to make sense of it all by combining ancient knowledge with modern scientific knowledge, and as they say: The more you dig, the more you find. And now, I don’t even know how or where to begin to write it all up, there is so much to talk about–a Universe full of stuff. It’s literally coming out of my ears, and I try to catch and document what I can, in hopes it helps one other person (other than myself, that is).

    There is no rule in Tao-babe-ism (or Tao-dude-ism) other than: Enjoy your life. Be kind to all beings, sentient or not.

    That’s it. One stinking law.


  11. taobabes new programming book:

    The “IT-Ching of Minecraft”

    Watch out for the Pooh 🙂


  12. Ha! You never know. I worked in I.T. for a decade, but I never did any programming or scripting worth mentioning. I wonder if it’s something I should consider, though.

    This page is how I figured out that I wanted to call myself a Taoist: http://youmightbeataoist.blogspot.ca/

    By the way, Taobabe, your “Somewhere in the Stardust” song won’t play https://taobabe.wordpress.com/taobabe-music/. Says it’s corrupt. Well, it doesn’t really say the SONG is corrupt. It says the FILE is corrupt. I’m sure the song itself isn’t too corrupt; you seem reasonably pure.

    I love your voice!


  13. Ron,
    Thank you. You are too kind.

    I went and clicked on it, and heard myself sing a song I wrote the first time I saw the lights of San Francisco, from the Golden Gate bridge.

    [audio src="https://taobabe.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/track-09.m4a" /]

    It’s not corrupted for me. Maybe try this link.


  14. Thanks! It was my browser. Didn’t like just the one song for some reason. I like it though 🙂


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