Dao De Jing
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Verse Forty


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008

Verse Forty
Arthur Waley

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.

Verse Forty
DC Lau

Turning back is how the way moves;
Weakness is the means the way employs.

The myriad creatures in the world are born from
Something, and Something from Nothing.

Verse Forty
Sanderson Beck

Returning is the movement of the Way.
Gentleness is the method of the Way.
All things in the world come from being,
and being comes from non-being.


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008

The way is to turn our attention back on itself. Turn 180 degrees back to the source or root. I'm not so sure that non-being is the source of being, since that implies a cause in time. For me, this verse is describing the way it is, the design of being. I see non-being as the root (inside€or underside in the case of a root). It's not about non-being creating being. It's the way it always is. In two-way attention, the inner is the root of the outer. That's how I see it. I don't see the void as the source of the plenum. To me, it is the support rather than the source. Support is in present time. Source implies causality and priority in past time, which is an idea I'd like to forget because I find no factual support for it. It's not something I can see. It's pure assumption and speculation.

Am I being too nit-picky about this? Do you see the inner as the source of the outer?

Jim


From: Janet
Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008

hi jim,

i suppose any rejection of the word 'source' is only as strong as the idea you attach to it or in the overall meaning you find in the context in which it is used. i have the same feeling with some words when i see the context in which it is used. on the other hand, the word in another context, may be perfectly okay when i understand the over-all sense that the writer is getting at.

in the current verse the word 'source' didn't turn me off. source, root, void, god, space, whatever, are all fine, as long as they are not defined as anything other than 'no-thing' or being defined to have a cause.

now, to the verse itself: i see 'non-being as the source of being' to mean there must be a space of non-being to actualize being. just like i see this enormous no-thing, and in this, everything appears. its like it is impossible that everything appears, unless there is capacity for it. so if there is a cause, its only cause, is capacity -to be.

i had thought about this deeply before responding right away. there appeared many thoughts. it seemed to be much better and better flowing, until trying to write them!

love,
janet


From: jimclatfelter
Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008

Hi Janet,

Thanks for your thoughts on my question.

You say: non-being as the source of being = a space of non-being to actualize being

That's how I see it too. The two go together in the present -- always. That I can actually see, as in the experiments. I can't actually see space as the cause of what appears in it, nor can I see space as existing before things existed. Space and things can't be separated. They always go together.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this.

Love,
Jim


From: Luc
Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008

Hi all,

We 've been discussing this 'source'-issue on the summer gathering last week. I don't know about this Void being the source of being. But when I speak I can feel the Void being the source of the words. Maybe if it is the source of my actions it can be considered as the source of all actions ?

It reminds me of the way the Chinese discribe the origin of the world. First there was Wu Chi, depicted as an empty circle, empty but containing everything as an idea. Then movement came and generated Tai Chi, the interplay of yin and yang. So Wu Chi is the source of all movement ...

I very much like the phrase : 'In Tao the only motion is returning'. It links in an almost visual way to the experiments, how they return my attention to the one place I never left ...

Oh and about the second line : I prefer the word 'gentleness' over 'weakness'. My translations speak of 'softness' and 'surrender'. Reminds me of Tai Chi as a martial art, where you use softness, not weakness.

Returning is my movement now !
Luc


From: Janet
Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008

hi luc,

its lovely to see you.

well, like jim, i think i need to know how the word "source" is used. in the first paragraph you've written, i might take "source" to mean the cause of what appears (but not sure).

to me, there is no cause. if i were to guess, i might say every thing is itself, its own cause. source is the space for everything to appear.

in the second paragraph, well, first, its beautiful......but maybe wu chi, to me, is the space for all movement.

the source, to me, is just empty -for everything to be. its uncondional space.

it may very well be that we may feel the same way, but words become an obstacle.

love,
janet


From: Luc
Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008

Janet wrote:
the source, to me, is just empty -for everything to be. its uncondional space.

it may very well be that we may feel the same way, but words become an obstacle.

Hi Janet,

Yes, words are an obstacle if we start discussing about them !
And I agree that this source is empty. I think what I mean is that me, the little one, isn't creating words out of thoughts, but that they just appear. I haven't a clue as to where they come from. Seems like it's just the same when these fingers are typing.

Love
Luc


From: Janet

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008

hi luc,

yeah, i know what you mean. i don't know either. for me, i think it is a feeling, and then i use words to describe that. sometimes the words are hard to find. i do the best i can.

you say that words are an obstacle when you start discussing them.... well, for me, discussing them in their context gives more clarity to the meaning of the words. thats just the way we communicate. words are the basis of our conversations. we couldn't communicate without having a defined, common, language. especially, on the net.

language is always changing, too. fresh generations are using words in a different manner than i ever had.

well, enough words about words!

love,
janet


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