Tao by Matsumoto

Chapter 32


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  32-1 Nameless
  32-2 Small uncarved block
  32-3 Lords & Kings
  32-4 Fertile raindrops
  32-5 Balance
  32-6 Cuts & Names
  32-7 Stop
  32-8 No danger
  32-9 Valleys & the Seahttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAB9B9650E5CF77D2http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAB9B9650E5CF77D2http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3201.html#G+_buttonhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3201.html#widget10http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3201.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3201.html#widget11http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3201.html#widget12http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3206.html#G+_buttonhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3206.html#widget9http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3206.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/31to40/3206.html#widget10shapeimage_6_link_0shapeimage_6_link_1shapeimage_6_link_2shapeimage_6_link_3shapeimage_6_link_4shapeimage_6_link_5shapeimage_6_link_6shapeimage_6_link_7shapeimage_6_link_8shapeimage_6_link_9shapeimage_6_link_10

  [Tao Te Ching Chapter 32]  Nameless / English translation

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Tao is constantly nameless.

Though the uncarved block is small, no one under the sky can make it his minister very well.

If the lords and kings defend it very well, all the material things will obey them.

Heaven and earth harmonize with each other, so fertile raindrops fall.

You don't need to order people. They balance themselves naturally.

After they start cutting things, there are names.

Once they have got names, they should know how to stop.

It is because, if they know where to stop, there is no danger.

Tao is to the world under the sky as streams and valleys are to big rivers and the sea.



Tao refuses to have a name. It is constant and omnipresent, so why can such a thing possibly have a name? It is bigger than a name.

Tao (="the uncarved block") doesn't have volume. It is impossible to control it from the side of your hologram (="the world under the sky").

If each one who creates his hologram (="lords and kings") knows how to use Dark Depth Female very well, he can control all the material beings. That is to say, if you know how to "do nothing" and do "Reverse Thinking", you can control your hologram.

The outside world constitutes your feelings and thoughts, and your feelings and thoughts constitute the outside world. All of them are your hologram. It is always in harmony with Tao no matter how much you think otherwise. All we have to do is to remember fertile rains are constantly falling on us.

People in your hologram are like water. Whether you give them orders or not, they look for balance. Or, it would be easier if we admitted that everything in front of us is totally balanced. Unless you impose your moral judgement on it, it is perfect naturally.

If you don't segregate one from another, you can't possibly have a name because everything is one.

Names themselves are not bad. Probably, we can appreciate Tao's manifestation through each thing better if we have a name for it. Nevertheless, names come along with discernment. Discernment inevitably leads you to judgement. Judgement is the source of discontent. You have to stop somewhere before you start suffering from the lack of satisfaction. (☞See Chapter 42 One, two, three for the corresponding part of «Chuang Tzu»)

You don't have to face either danger nor problem if you know how to stop judging. One of the best ways to do it is "Reverse Thinking".

"The world under the sky" means "your hologram". As in the expression "Valley God", the word "valley" signifies "vacuum". It means Tao. The rivers and the seas are something vast, something quite visible, which is sustained by something invisible, something seemingly empty. The basis of the world (=your hologram) is Tao while the source of the rivers and the seas is streams and valleys.

  [Related Articles]


«Kwaidan» means scary stories. Lafcadio Hearn (aka Koizumi Yakumo 1850 -1904) scares Japanese kids even nowadays. One of the most haunting stories is «Hoichi the Earless». Hoichi asked a Buddhist priest to write sutra calligraphy on his body to protect him from evil spirits. They could not see him because of the sacred writings. But the priest forgot to write them on the ears, so the evil spirits were able to see two ears in the air. Then, they took the ears home, wondering why Hoichi was not there. Bleeding Hoichi lost his ears, but was alive. Three cheers for Lafcadio Hearn's sensitivity to capture poesy in Japanese Ghost stories. 小泉八雲

-Chapter 28 Uncarved block. When Tao (=the uncarved block) scatters, it becomes holograms (=vessels, =the world).

-Taoism videos / Chapter 32 1-5 True sutra

-Taoism videos / Chapter 32 6-9 Sea

Quick guide > Tao Te Ching translation > Chapter 32 Nameless

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← «Yama Uba» means an old woman in the mountains. "Yama" mountains, "Uba" an old woman, respectively. She is thought to be an imaginary character in Japanese legends. But Japanese ethnologist Kunio Yanagida hints that Japan may have had a substantial number of population who lived in the mountains without any social intercourse with the inhabitants in towns and villages. Some of them may have chosen this way of life consciously for fear of being captured by their enemy. Others may have simply liked being dropouts. Zen master Ikkyu intelligently used this unsophisticated mountain lady as an ideal metaphor of Zen / Tao.

柳田國男  一休