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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-1
Use of arms
There is a saying when you use arms. (Ch.69)

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Here we have a fundamental question.

Is there a Taoist way of fighting?

The answer is simple.

"No, absolutely not."

No matter what later hands have been added to Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu dare not fight.

This is the quintessence.

Then, what does the word "arms" mean here?

It symbolizes the hologram.

After all, everything you see is your hologram.

In this Chapter 69 Enemy, we discuss how you handle your hologram, which is called the world, life, self, or whatever.

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Basho means a banana plant in Japanese. I wonder why Matsuo Basho chose his pen name "Basho the banana". I don't know if a banana was something cool in his time, but at least I can tell that it was exotic. Sometimes, exoticism pushes one to go beyond his limit of imagination and achieve something unprecedented. The name of this great poet reminds me that Haiku also once was a cutting edge avant-garde artistic movement. He may have needed this unusual name to say "no" to the conventional ways to compose poems.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-2
Be passive
Our side dare not be active, but be passive. (Ch.69)

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Be passive.

Don't be active.

Passiveness defeats activeness. (☞See Female beats male 61-4)

Use Dark Depth Female 玄牝 [genpi].

In Taoism, the word "female" represents passiveness.

While being passive and accepting all, you create no resistance.

Then, Tao, which is expressed as "Dark Depth 玄 [gen]", can flow without hindrance.

"Don't be active", in other words, "Do nothing" suggests this attitude.

Please don't think that "Do nothing" means "You must not move your body or do something".

Whether you do something or not, true You are "doing nothing", that is to say, accepting all.

It is your hologram that is doing the act.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-3
Our side dare not advance one inch, but retreat one foot. (Ch.69)

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Don't try to advance.

Never mind retreating.

In Taoism, advance is retreat, and retreat is advance. (☞See Advance = Retreat 40-7)

If you want to go forward, go backward.

If you want to get something, give something.

This is the way a hologram functions.

There are two raisons d'être of a hologram:

1. To give us an opportunity to receive Love (=Tao) through the hologram.

2. To stimulate us to emit Love (=Tao).

This bilateral exchange of the fundamental energy Tao may explain why a hologram "seems" to work that way.

But remember?

There is no space in Tao.

There is neither distance nor direction.

How can you advance or retreat there?

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-4
Advance without advancing
This is called advancing without advancing, rolling up the sleeves of no arm, taking up no arms, and pulling in no enemy. (Ch.69)

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Can we advance without advancing?


Act no act. 為無為

This is one of the best-known sentences in Tao Te Ching. (☞See Act without acting 3-7)

Can we really act without acting?


Lao Tzu asks you to "roll up the sleeves of no arm".

This is a Taoist counterpart to Zen Buddhist Hakuin's famous Koan:

"What is the sound of one hand?". (☞See The sound without a sound 14-4)

All of them are talking about the same thing: how to use your


All the acts, including advancing, are part of your hologram.

All the objects, including one of your hands, are part of the hologram.

So are arms and enemies.

How can you use them?

It is simple.

"Do nothing."

In other words, by accepting all, maintain the circulation of Love, or the fundamental energy Tao.

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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 69-5
Underestimating the enemy
No disaster is as big as underestimating the enemy. (Ch.69)

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Don't underestimate your enemy.

Even if you think about this within the limit of conventional wisdom, it is difficult to disagree.

But this cautious approach in a competition or a battle is not at all what Lao Tzu wanted to tell us.

He is saying here:

"It is disastrous if you don't accept your enemy as part of your own self".

In other words, your enemy is part of your hologram.

Respect your enemy while respecting your own self.

No matter what you do, you are sending Love (=Tao), but respecting someone is one of the easy "acts" to send Love consciously.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-6
Lost treasures
If you underestimate the enemy, you have almost lost my treasures. (Ch.69)

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What are your treasures?

We have three treasures.

In Tao Te Ching, those three treasures are:

1. Send Love.

2. Don't waste any.

3. Try not to be the first.

(☞See Three treasures  67-4)

On the other hand, for the Buddhists, their three treasures are:

1. Buddha.

2. Manifestation.

3. Company.

Let's decode them.

1. Buddha is another name of Love, Tao, or the Higher Being.

2. Holograms are Buddha's manifestation (=Dharma). Don't waste your hologram.

3. Your company, your enemy, and the rest are part of your hologram. Why do you have to prove that you are better than them?


Buddhists in China used the expression "three treasures 三宝 [san po]" found in Tao Te Ching to translate the Sanskritic word "Tri-ratna". (Osamu Kanaya 金谷治, «Roshi 老子»)

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 69-7
Love wins
Therefore, if two facing armies look like each other, the one sending Love wins. (Ch.69)

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What are "two facing armies"?

In Tao, everything is supposed to be one.

This is the source of all the problems: the two imaginary entities in the sole existence.

In your hologram, you have created the division between you and non-you, or Jiko 自己 yourself under your control and Tako 他己 yourself beyond your control.

You and non-you are the same hologram.

That's why Lao Tzu says:

"Two facing armies look like each other".

You and the rest of the world are not separated.

You just think they are.

What is the solution to this imaginary isolation?

Lao Tzu answers you:

"Send Love, and you will win against the isolation".

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Hakuin Ekaku was born in 1685 and died in 1768. Compared to Dogen (1200-1253), he was rather a modern Zen Buddhist. He used two Koan to teach Zen: "What is the sound of one hand?" (See Advance without advancing 69-4) and “Does a dog have Buddha’s nature?”

Some Japanese have contributed to the propagation of some Eastern ways of thinking abroad. The post-war consumers in Japan seem to have behaved totally contrarily to their principles. Now the Japanese post-consumer youngsters are taking the important roles of carrying the philosophical torch of their grandfathers. Read Masanobu Fukuoka's «The One-Straw Revolution» to find out his "Do nothing" farming. Michio Kushi has something to say about «The Cancer Prevention Diet».