Tao by Matsumoto

Taoism videos / Chapter 10

A. Body soul & Spirit soul


Can you make the body soul and the spirit soul embrace Tao?

The body soul ⎯ 魄 ([p'o] in Chinese. [haku] in Japanese. Hopefully, your browser shows the Chinese character correctly).

The Chinese character signifies the soul of Yin (=shadow) energy that controls the body.

It also means the outline of the shadowy side of the moon.

The spirit soul ⎯ 魂 ([hun] in Chinese. [kon] in Japanese. Did your browser show the Chinese character correctly, too? Because the two kanji characters are beautiful and thought-provoking. The right hand side of the characters is identical and signifies an ogre / demon / Japanese [oni] probably because we cannot control it. The left hand part of 魄 ⎯ the body soul means "white").

This spirit soul is almost similar to the conventional idea of "soul" in English.

They used to think that, after one goes the way of nature, the spirit soul rises up into heaven and the body soul descends into earth.

Sadly, you can observe here the dichotomy of mind and body in Lao Tzu's time, which is two and a half millennia ago.

The life in his village might have been as stressful as it is in town nowadays though he is considered to be a fictitious character.

Even without ipods and video games, the village people there seem to have been so spiritually disconnected from nature. Who knows!

By saying, "Make the body soul and the spirit soul embrace Tao", the old thinker desperately urges you to forget about the dichotomy.

Once you forget about it, you can easily remember that you are Tao.

Embracing it is just remembering you are the one.

In the original text, the word One is used at the place of Tao in the translation.

It is important to point out that One is Tao.

Forget about Two (=dichotomy, analysis) and remember One (=Everything is interconnected; Tao).

And can you make them keep it with them?

Can you make your two separated souls keep Tao with them?

Of course, yes. Because you are Tao. (☞See Chapter 2b Satori)

Satori is to accept the fact and live with it.

  [Related Articles]


Yukio Mishima cut his Hare in front of the audience, so to speak. He was theatrical. In 1968 he wrote «My Friend Hitler». Three years earlier he wrote «Madame de Sade». The former play has no female main characters. The latter has no male ones. The Japanese novelist and playwright considered them a diptych. 三島由紀夫 わが友ヒットラー サド侯爵夫人

Quick guide > Tao Te Ching translation > Chapter 10 > A. Body soul and Spirit soul

  [Chapter 10 Magic words]  A. Body soul and Spirit soul

« Previous                              Quick guide                                  Next »

Need help?

Q: "I am desperate. I need some solutions right away."

A: No worries. Here is a practical method.

10 points to be One with Tao

Q: "Is a geisha truly a p,........., a lady of the oldest profession of human beings?"

A: No, it means "artist", literally. She is an artist of the Taoist way of living.

Kawabata's Onsen Geisha

Q: "What Does Nintendo mean?"

A: It means "Do nothing" Corporation.