Dao De Jing
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Reversal and Return


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:07 pm

A few interpretations of Verse 40:

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of not being.

Returning to the root is the movement of Tao.
Quietness is how it functions.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of nothing.

Reversion is the action of the Dao.
Softness is the function of the Dao.
The myriad things under Heaven achieve life in existence.
Existence arises from nothingness.

Returning is the movement of the Tao.
By yielding we realize the Tao.
All things are born of Existence.
Existence is born of Emptiness.

In Tao the only motion is returning;
The only useful quality, weakness.
For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,
Being itself is the product of Not-being.

Reversal is the movement of the way
Yielding is the method of the way
The myriad beings in nature arose out of being
Being arose out of nothing

Reversion is the action of Tao.
Gentleness is the function of Tao.
The things of this world come from Being,
And Being (comes) from Non-being.

Line one seems to be about reversing the arrow of attention and returning to the place we never left. This is the movement of the Tao and of Seeing.

Line two talks about yielding, weakness, gentleness, softness, or quietness. I wonder if openness would be equivalent. Openness is he method of the Tao and of Seeing. Here I am wide open. I have to yield, because there is nothing here to put up any kind of real resistance.

Lines three and four bring up the fundamental polarity of being and nothing. We reverse attention and return from the outer pole to the inner. The outer pole, the ten thousand things, is still there. Now the inner pole (our previously overlooked openness and transparency) is also present in our lives.

This verse is a pretty good summary of the Way of Tao and the Way of Seeing.

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009

hi jim,

this is it, really. yielding, gentleness, and openess. i feel this way because its my experience! so, its not just talk.

recently there was trouble in the family. my ex, my son, and my daughter felt angry with some circumstances. i felt upset and rattled, too. my ex, son, and daughter expressed anger at different points that day, and it was in my direction, or so it felt that way initially. there was no reasoning with any of them. yeilding to what was happening, and Seeing this space that it was happening in, 'anyone here' disolved in favor of all of them. i really think it was the best thing. i really didn't 'do' anything, but return to just 'being'. i felt like busted wide open space. 'the lights were on, but nobody home'. even when any of them shouted 'do something', it was met with nothingness. not in a careless way, but compassionate silence. mostly because i don't know, yet this space was enough, in the moment.

love,
janet


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009

Hi Janet,

Thanks for sharing your personal experience, how openness works out practically. I don't always remain open to trouble like that, but, when I do, it works out better, at least in the sense that I don't get upset. Your example is an instance of See and see what happens.

Love,
Jim


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