Tao by Matsumoto

Taoism videos / Chapter 1

B. Life is a movie


Both of them are the same thing, coming out with two different names.

In other words, life is like a movie, in which you are the director, the actor, and the spectator at the same time.

The Japanese had traditionally liked using an expression "the floating world Ukiyo"before they discovered the metaphor of a movie.

If you try to analyse it (="name it"), you just observe bits and pieces of its shadow and never see the fundamental energy (=Tao) itself.

The word "see" (☞See the whole text of Chapter 1 and Chapter 1a Without mind, you can see the surprising Tao.) does not mean "looking at something". It is more like participating in a process. You emit the fundamental energy to bring about the process, and supply more of it to sustain it.

The same being is called Dark Depth.

"Dark Depth" signifies the process, during which your hologram is created. The process itself is Tao. The word "Dark Depth 玄" is often used to express Tao.

The hologram is the seas, the mountains, and the towns you see in front of you: your movie, your "reality". All the material beings belong to this hologram.

Then, a question arises. Who creates the hologram?

Tao? God? Or, some omnipotent being who stays out of the process?

No. None of them.

It is you who create the hologram.

But, wait. All the material beings are part of your hologram, which includes your body. The director of the film is, in fact, an actor in the film disguising to be a director.

Who are you in this context, the director or the actor? Or, rather, where are you, inside the hologram or outside?

Dogen, the great Japanese Zen master in the thirteenth century, in his voluminous work Shobogenzo, answers the question flatly.

"You are in the hologram."

(Although in the thirteenth century in Japan the technology of holography did not exist, Dogen painstakingly came up with numerous metaphors to explain its concept. Notably, one of them is the beautiful analogy of the moon and many dewdrops that reflect its light.)

According to the true teaching of Buddhism (=Shobo), our mind does not belong to us. Neither do our personal feelings.

Our mind and feelings are part of what we see; seas, mountains, and towns; that is, our holograms. We can say our reasoning and sentiments are the result of the interactions in the atmosphere like winds and clouds.

The cause of some problems in the twenty-first century like depression could be our misunderstanding here. We are too attached to our mind.

At the dark depth of this Dark Depth lies the gateway to the various surprises of Tao.

With mind, you are overwhelmed by the surface of reality. Without mind, you take part in the creation of reality.

It will become easier once you accept the fact that your mind is not so personal as you think it is. Whether you like it or not, you are part of everything and your mind is influenced by everything. At the same time, everything is part of you and your mind influences everything.

Accepting everything without judgement is the gateway to the surprising Tao.

  [Related Articles]


The world = Jippokai (Juppokai) 十法界 = Hologram = Ukiyo 浮世 = The floating world. Kazuo Ishigro's «An Artist of the Floating World» was shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize. Kitagawa Utamaro 喜多川歌麿 and Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 were the two giants of Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints. Some of their works are illegal to exhibit in Japan.

-Chapter 70 Actor. "The words have got a centre. The acts have got an actor", says Lao Tzu.

-Chapter 17 Taoism's best way. Don't you want to know the easiest and simplest way to practice Taoism?

-Chapter 56c Dark Depth. Dark Depth 玄 means Tao, but what does it signify literally?

-Chapter 9 Don't Stay. Don't be desperate to stay in your movie. You just play there.

-Chapter 7 No self. "Because he is without self, he can accomplish his self."

-Chapter 5a Straw Dogs. "They treat everything as straw dogs." This sentence inspired film director Sam Peckinpah to make a movie with Dustin Hoffman.

-Chapter 3c Act without acting. This is how you transform your hologram.

-Chapter 1 Gateway to Tao

-Chapter 1a What is Tao?

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  [Chapter 1 Gateway to Tao]  B. Life is a movie

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