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Daoism: The Philosophy of Dao/Wu. The ways that can be walked are not the constant Way; The names that can be named are not the eternal name. The nameless ( wu-ming 無名 )is the origin of the myriad creatures; The named ( you-ming 有名 ) is the mother of the myriad creatures. Therefore,

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daoism the philosophy of dao wu
Daoism: The Philosophy of Dao/Wu
  • The ways that can be walked are not the constant Way;
  • The names that can be named are not the eternal name.
  • The nameless (wu-ming 無名)is the origin of the myriad creatures;
  • The named (you-ming 有名) is the mother of the myriad creatures.
  • Therefore,
      • Always be without desire (wuyu 無欲)
        • in order to observe its wondrous subtleties
      • Always have desire (youyu有欲)
        • so that you may observe its manifestations.
slide2
Both of these derive from the same source;
  • They have different names but the same designation.
  • Mystery of mysteries
  • The gate of all wonders! (TTC/DDJ, 45)
reading being and nonbeing separately
Reading “Being” and “Nonbeing” separately
  • The ways that can be spoken of are not the constant Way;
  • The names that can be named are not the eternal name.
  • Wu (無), is what is used name the origin of heaven and earth (tiandi 天地)
  • You (有), is what is used to name the mother (formation) of the myriad creatures
slide4
Therefore, always observe “Wu”
  • To see the wondrous subtitles of the Way,
  • In the meantime, observe “You”
  • To see its manifestation
  • Both “Wu” and “You” emerge from the same source (Dao) but have different names
  • Both are mysterious,
  • [With Wu] being the most mysterious
  • [and being] the gate of all wonders
things come from nothing
Things come from Nothing
  • The above reading can help understand the following lines:
    • All creatures under heaven are born from being (you)
    • Being is born from nonbeing (wu)
          • TTC/DDJ 4/40
tao wu the genesis of the universe
Tao/Wu: the Genesis of the universe
  • The Way gave birth to unity [one],
  • Unity gave birth to duality [two],
  • Duality gave birth to trinity [three],
  • Trinity gave birth to the myriad creatures [things].
  • The myriad creatures bear yin on their backs
    • and embrace yang in their bosoms.
  • They neutralize these vapors (ch’i, qi)
    • and thereby achieve harmony. (TTC/DDJ, 5/42)
metaphors and symbols of tao wu the source and the procreation process
Metaphors and Symbols of Tao/Wu--the source and the procreation process
  • The nature and functions of the Tao are represented by four types of metaphors/images and symbolism:
    • Non-entity: bellows, hub, (55/11)
    • Generative power: ancestor [forefather], mother, valley spirit, mysterious female, root, (50/65)
    • The beginning state of procreated objects: baby, unhewn log (uncarved block) (76/32)
    • The greatness, vastness, and immeasurableness: valley, rippling water, river, ocean (78/34)
the wheel and the hub
The Wheel and the Hub
  • Thirty spokes converge on a single hub,
  • but it is in the pace where there is nothing
  • that the usefulness of the cart lies.
  • Clay is molded to make a pot,
  • but it is in the space where there is nothing
slide9
that the usefulness of the clay pot lies.
  • Cut out doors and windows to make a room,
  • but it in the spaces where there is nothing
  • that the usefulness of the room lies.
  • Therefore, benefit may be derived from something,
  • but is in nothing that we find usefulness. (TTC/DDJ, 55/11)
ancestor mother valley spirit mysterious female etc
Ancestor, mother, valley spirit, mysterious female, etc.
  • The valley spirit never dies--
    • it is called “the mysterious female.”
  • the gate of the mysterious female
      • is called “the root of heaven and earth”
  • Gossamer it is,
      • seemingly insubstantial,
      • yet never consumed through use. (TTC/DDJ, 50/6)
baby unhewn log etc
Baby, unhewn log, etc.
  • The way is eternally nameless.
  • Though the unhewn log is small
  • No one in the world dares subjugate it.
  • If feudal lords and kings could maintain it,
  • The myriad creatures would submit of themselves.
  • Heaven and earth unite
    • to suffuse sweet dew
    • Without commanding the people,
    • equality will naturally ensue
slide12
….
  • In metaphorical terms,
    • The relationship between all under heaven to the Way
    • is like that of valley streams to the river and sea (TTC/DDJ, 76/32)
water river ocean etc
Water, river, ocean, etc.
  • Rippling is the Way, flowing left and right!
  • Its tasks completed, its affairs finished,
  • Still it does not claim them for its own
  • The myriad creatures return to it,
  • But it does not act as their ruler
  • Eternally without desire,
slide14
It may be named among the small;
  • The myriad creatures return to it,
  • Bit it does not act as their ruler;
  • It may be named among the great.
  • For these reasons,
    • The sage can achieve greatness,
    • Because he does not act great
    • Therefore,
    • He can achieve greatness (TTC/DDJ, 78/34)