Tao by Matsumoto

Taoism videos / Chapter 39 1-5.

Shiki soku ze ku


Tao Te Ching Chapter 39-1
Attain One
Once upon a time, somebody attained One. (Ch.39)

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One signifies Tao.

"Once upon a time, somebody attained


Masters in the olden days used such an expression as this.

A little too often, I suppose.

It is called Hoben 方便 in Zen Buddhism.

It means a tool to explain about a highly metaphysical concept.

I don't want to blame old masters, but it is clear that their Hoben the thought tools have created many misunderstandings among latter-day seekers of the truth.

All right, let's go straight to Today's point.

It is you who attained Tao.

In fact, you didn't even attain it because you didn't need to. You are


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Ryokan is a Saint Francis of Assisi of Japan. Or, he went even further in terms of loving other living beings. He even loved fleas and lice. Once in a while he felt sorry for those living on his body and had them sun-bathe by taking off his clothes and stretching them out in the sun. He was an exceptional Soto Zen Buddhist, for sure.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 39-2
Heaven attained One and got clear. (Ch.39)

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You project the clear "heaven" in your hologram, which is the world in front of you.

To do that, you need One, the fundamental energy Tao.

Don't worry. You are the energy, so you've got plenty of it.

Just don't mix true You and your own self.

Your own self is part of your hologram which you project.

You project the hologram, and it stimulates you.

You may react saying:

"What a clear and beautiful sky it is!"

You appreciate the hologram. Then, you emit the energy.

This "give and take" is taking place constantly inside true You.

This exchange is the Yin Yang circle.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 39-3
Earth attained One and got stable.


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Heaven can be abstract, but earth is concrete.

They seem different, but both of them are part of your hologram.

The words "earth" and "stable" suggest space.

Space, as well as time, is part of the hologram.

Space is just a parameter to reconstruct the imaginary world in your mind.

Without Tao, no holograms.

Without holograms, no space.

Without you, .... Oh, no! It's impossible because you are the One, the fundamental energy Tao.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 39-4
Gods attained One and got spiritual.


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Where do feelings and thoughts come from?

Where does time come from? Where does it


Where do "gods" live?

All of them are part of your hologram.

Therefore it is you who project them.

"Gods" need Tao the fundamental energy to exist as Today's Tao sentence says.

"Gods" are there to stimulate you as a catalyst like feelings and thoughts, time and space, and people and objects.

Can you abandon the idea of the one and only objective world outside you?

If you can, you will not have to be afraid of "gods" or responsible for your feelings and thoughts.

You will even have an unlimited supply of time and space.

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Need help?

Q: "I am frustrated! Will Tao help me?"

A: Why don't you think the other way round?

Reverse Thinking

Q: "I am not happy about how I look. Do I need a cosmetic surgery?"

A: Before you invest a hefty sum of money on your appearance, there are a few things to think about.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Q: "I am scared of seeing my reports. What’s gonna happen if the numbers are not good enough"

A: Zen Masters asks you to forget about statistics.

No Numbers

Q: "We need to change our way to grow foods. I am worried about the future of my children. What should we do?"

A: If you are interested in organic foods, read about the modern-day Lao Tzu of “Do nothing” farming, late Masanobu Fukuoka.

Tao Agriculture

Q: "People talk about Zen, but what the heck is it indeed?"

A: Zen is nothing special. It is something you know well.

Zen is Love

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: "I am confused when people tell me to face reality. What is reality?"

A: A good question! Zen masters have been tackling the question for ages, but our old man, Lao Tzu, knows the answer.

No Absolute Truth

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.

Tao Te Ching Chapter 39-5
Siki soku ze ku / Filled valley
The valley attained One and got filled. (Ch.39)

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In Taoism, "the valley" means emptiness.

"Valley God exists any time any where", says Lao Tzu in Chapter 6 Valley God. (See also Valley God 6-1)

Once the emptiness gets Tao's energy, it gets filled and becomes a hologram.

The hologram constitutes the so-called world.

What you think has colors is in fact a hologram and emptiness.

-[shiki]=color (See Chapter 4b Color)

-[soku]=just (or immediate)


-[kuu]=emptiness (or sky)

色即是空 [shiki soku ze ku]

空即是色 [ku soku ze shiki]

That's how the Buddhists summarize the mechanism. (Please replace the Japanese words with the English ones, and construct the cycle)

[Note 1]

In order to visualize the cycle, it is advisable not to use the English "translation". Nevertheless, if you need it, here it is.

色即是空 [shiki soku ze ku]: Colors are justly emptiness.

空即是色 [ku soku ze shiki]: Emptiness is justly colors.

[Note 2]

Zen Master Dogen adds "Colors are colors. Emptiness justly emptiness." to these two famous Buddhist sentences. Thus, he shows that the process goes back to the starting point and makes a full circle. He emphasizes the eternal cycle. See Full = Empty 45-3 for further information.

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