Tao by Matsumoto

Taoism videos / Chapter 56

B. Be like dust


Dull the sharpness.

Untangle the entanglements.

They can be understood without a particular decoding.

What a relief to know that there was an old sage who placed dullness at a far better place than sharpness.

Calling someone dull could be a compliment rather than an insult.

Why do we want be sharp, cutting edge, or incisive?

We have to admit that we have a covert, or sometimes overt, wish to impress others.

The same question has to be repeated here. Who are "others"?

Soften the light.

It may be comprehended in the same context. You don't need to shine.

On the contrary, you had better soften your glare.

We don't have to be different, original, or prominent.

This kind of desire is simply an obstacle when you try to accept that  the so-called reality (=the outside world + your own self) is your hologram.

It doesn't have any consequence whether you are glaring with your personal charisma or not.

Why do you want to shine in order to impress yourself? You and others are the same.

Be like dust.

Perhaps, it is the most important teaching in this chapter.

It means "Try to be the least important being. Don't feed your ego".

Surely, you can see the same analogy here as Zen Buddhists say, "Buddha is a dry [excrement] stick" (糞かきべら [kuso kaki bera] / 乾屎橛 [kanshiketsu] in Japanese).

It is a tool to clean one's bottom after he has relieved nature. They used to use it in Asia.

Buddha is the fundamental energy like Tao and other names.

The energy constitutes all the holograms including the tool that has cleaned many Asian bottoms.

The energy is there. So is Buddha.

"Be like dust." means "Be like an excrement scraper".

You don't mind even if people do not look up to you.

You are content when you are doing a job which others do not want to do.

You accept what you are and what you are doing now because you know you are the dust, or the dirty bottom cleaner; you are Tao, the fundamental energy.

"Be like dust should be paraphrased as "Remember that you are Tao", that is to say, "Don't worry".

The biggest misunderstanding of all is that you have to do something special, a king of mortification to reach the state of being one with Tao (=Satori).

Lots of religious gurus and even some Zen masters of old times say things like this, or, at least, use words which have risks to be misinterpreted this way.

"You have to work hard. Otherwise you cannot get anything." Aren't you familiar with this?

Lao Tzu never says things like that. Neither does a true teacher of Zen. No worries.

It is because, when you try to change by effort the world in front of you (=your hologram), you are not accepting it as it is, which is contrary to to "being one with" Zen or Tao.

  [Related Articles]


Rakugo 落語 is a one man "stand-up" comedy without standing up, that is to say, a show entirely perfumed while squatting. It is a popular art of story-telling born in the Edo period under the reign of the Tokugawa shoguns. Contradictory as it may sound, it was a 230-year period without a war, starting in 1600, governed by samurai, who were supposed to be warriors. In this pacific period, laughter and lust became the center of the people's attention. The role of the concubines and the court jesters had been democratized. Here came the births of the Geisha and the Rakugo. While the word "Geisha" signifies an artist, the true artists of story-telling are called "Rakugo-ka 落語家", which literally means "a house of the fallen language".

-The word Tao has not been well explained. The closest literal translation might be "way", but it is not ideal. See What is Tao?

-With the word Zen, it is worse. Zen is not exactly the word to qualify your furniture or car. Can you say that your divan is very Love or this car is Love style. See [Practical uses] Zen is Love for detailed information.

-Chapter 24 Don't show off. "A bragging man is not successful. A boasting man is never the best", says Lao Tzu because "A man who expresses himself is not clearly seen".

-Chapter 56 How to be One with Tao. You are invited to be one with Tao.

-Chapter 4 Tao's function has four identical sentences as the ones in this page.

-Chapter 4a Masters hit your face. The identical part is discussed there.

-Chapter 9 Don't stay. "When your task is completed, you retire", says Lao Tzu, but can you renounce your power?

-[Practical uses] 10 points to be One with Tao

-Chapter 56a Nikko’s three monkeys

-Chapter 56c Dark Depth

-Taoism videos / Chapter 56 1-5 Block the openings

-Taoism videos / Chapter 56 6-10 Kanshiketsu / Like dust

-Taoism videos / Chapter 56 11-15 Benefit?

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  [Chapter 56 How to be One with Tao]  B. Be like dust

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: "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: "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