Dao De Jing Chapter 5

mandula 013 3x5 18Heaven and earth are not benevolent:
They treat then thousand things indifferently.
The wise is not benevolent:
He treats men indifferently.*
The entire universe is basically void, like a bellows:
When it is in non-action, it does not lack anything;
When it is in action, it is even more productive.
Debating with words leads to limitations.
Therefore, nothing is better than to remain in the state before things are stirred.

Commentary:

I began commenting on Chapter 4 reporting my Dream 12.16.2012 of visualizing the chapter’s words and thinking about them. Upon waking I thought to Skype Alain a long time friend still living in Hong Kong to ask him about the chapter. I read Chapter 4 to Alain and he then restated the last line, But it is likely that it existed prior to God. We discussed that when the Jesuit missionaries in the sixteenth century first encountered the Dao they defined it as “God”. The Chinese were amused since, the idea of “gods”, were entities that were lower than man. Alain suggested that the Dao is the nothingness that existed before the Big Bang theory, which functions through its nothingness and cannot be conceived of as full of things. This depiction of the Dao continues in Chapter 5 outlining a clear difference between western and eastern ideas of the supreme.  This is a difference of being handed a Way and having to discover IT by oneself and as being in one’s Self.

Chapter 5 begins by looking at the idea of benevolence in heaven and earth, in Dao, which treats 10,000 things indifferently. Contrast this with the West’s Judaism, Christianity, and Islamism’s, Yahweh, who has a special place in his being for those who worship him. It is important to note that there is no visible her in the West’s trinity concept of God – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The West’s Christian Way is not complete – it lacks Daoism’s central idea presented in the ancient Chinese book the I Ching – A book of Changes that has the Yin (female) and the Yang (male) as equal forces dialectically intertwined. Alan Watts on the Yin and the Yang ends this explanation by identifying the Buddha as all enlightened human beings – each one of us.


Alan Watts on The Yin and the Yang

Chapter 5 states that debating the Dao “with words leads to limitations” and Watts echoes this in suggesting we have to experience the Yin and Yang energy forces in order to understand their oneness and changeability. Watts’s explanation that “difference involves identity” and “identity involves difference” points to the importance of seeing the relationship in that “for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside.” He then extends this idea in saying “you are what you do and cannot be separated from the behavior around you, you are something that the whole world is doing, Yahoo – here I am.” In this video clip Watts presents the essence that is described in Chapter 2: “When goodness is universally affirmed as goodness, therein is evil.” It is in the interplay of Yin and Yang forces that generate psychic energy, energy we will continue to study. I see a lesson here, we need to read and re-read the Dao De Jing in our effort to understand IT.

In my last post, I mentioned that my dreams had entered the online-intime synchronistic unfolding taking place in the DialecticAnalyticalMan Blog, with work on Facebook, Youtube, and the High Plains Reader, all assisting in facilitating the Bus 439 International Management class starting at Concordia College January 9th, which uses the online Moodle internet software to help course facilitation. In my Dream 12.19.2012, I was working with someone it seems, Michael, a long time friend and creator of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts and a teacher of Tai Chi. We were discussing his new website and his plans to publish a Tai Chi book with DVDs. I had talked to Michael earlier in the evening about the idea of the Wonder Book and this interview with Bob Stein, founder of the The Institute for the Future of the Book, where his Sophie Software can be freely downloaded, looks at what is coming. Michael and I also discussed the Dao, which I will present.


Wonderbook – Bob Stein Interview


Books In Browsers 2011: Bob Stein,”The Future Now: The Social Book”

 

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