Tao by Matsumoto

Chapter 80

Small country

Watch the whole chapter 80 without hustle!
Video Playlist @YouTube

  80-1 Small country
  80-2 "110 vessels"
  80-3 Don't travel
  80-4 Boats & Cars
  80-5 Armor & Arms
  80-6 Tie the rope
  80-7 Hunger & Food
  80-8 Face transmission / Menju / Beauty
  80-9 Out-Tao (Heresy) Seniya / Gedo Senni / Settled
  80-10 Enjoy your customs
  80-11 Neighbors
  80-12 Moonlight & Dewdrops / Dogs & Roosters
  80-13 Life without interventionhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1F6B6BB12E5E3EDFhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1F6B6BB12E5E3EDFhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8001.html#G+_buttonhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8001.html#widget9http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8001.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8001.html#widget10http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8001.html#widget11http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8006.html#G+_buttonhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8006.html#widget9http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8006.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8006.html#widget10http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8006.html#widget10http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8010.html#G+_buttonhttp://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8010.html#widget9http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8010.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8010.html#widget6http://taotechingdecoded.com/71to81/8010.html#widget10shapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2shapeimage_5_link_3shapeimage_5_link_4shapeimage_5_link_5shapeimage_5_link_6shapeimage_5_link_7shapeimage_5_link_8shapeimage_5_link_9shapeimage_5_link_10shapeimage_5_link_11shapeimage_5_link_12shapeimage_5_link_13shapeimage_5_link_14shapeimage_5_link_15shapeimage_5_link_16

  [Tao Te Ching Chapter 80] Small country / English translation

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Be a small country and have few people.

Have them possess one hundred ten vessels, but don't let them use them.

Make the people respect life, and don't let them travel far.

Though there are boats and cars, there is nowhere to ride them.

Though there are armor and arms, there is nowhere to show them off.

Make the people tie their rope again and use it.

Make them appreciate the taste of their food.

Make them appreciate the beauty of their clothes.

Make them settle in their dwellings.

Make them enjoy their customs.

Neighboring countries can see each other.

People in one country can hear the voices of dogs and roosters in another country.

But they get old and end their life without coming and going between their countries.



<POINT> The answer to the questions about the interaction of holograms:Everything is one.

Look around. What you can see is a small space. "Small" is fine. You cannot see a big country with your own eyes. You can see it only on TV or the same sort. You don't have many people around you. That's excellent. Don't be fooled by the number of people on Internet or a newspaper. Love your "small country" and cherish people around you. They are more important than the rest of the world because you project them more often than the others.

In the original, the word "vessels" is expressed by the Kanji / Chinese character 器 [ki / utsuwa / qì] (Attention! It has nothing to do with 気 [ki / qi]). The character signifies a tool as well as a vessel. It can be used to metaphorically express the capacity of a person. In any case, they are a hologram. The image of a vessel suitably represents a hologram. (☞See Chapter 29 A god's vessel. See also Chapter 11 Thirty spokes one hub. There, the character "vessel 器" is translated as "cup".) First, you project your hologram. You give it a concrete image. Second, you shouldn't "use them". Your own self is the closest part of your hologram to true You (=Tao). Don't let your own self act on the hologram. Third, all you have to do is to accept the others in the hologram as they are and to send them Love (=the fundamental energy Tao).

Respect your life. Your life is a hologram. Though it is an illusion, it is the only "tangible" thing where you can perceive a manifestation of Tao. Your own self (=a part of your hologram) can receive the energy only through the world (=your hologram). Therefore, don't try to "travel far" to look for your own «self». Especially, don't try to experience a so-called "super-natural state". Your own miraculous "super-natural state" is the soi-disant «reality» in front of you here and now; the world, your own life, or whatever you call it. Your nirvāṇa is right here right now. Just love your life and accept it completely.

"You have boats and cars" to the other bank of the river (=pāramitā, =nirvāṇa). They can be conceptual and philosophical ideas or meditational exercises. But we don't need them because we are already there. There is "nowhere" to go across.

Though you may have some achievements or wealth (="armour and arms"), it is useless to "show them off". For the other people in the world (=your hologram) are part of your own self. (☞See Chapter 3b You and non-you)

People used to "tie their rope" and use it to record something. It was equivalent to our contract in the very old days. They used the tied ropes to govern a state. They didn't need alphabets or characters to write contracts. They were innocent enough to trust their promises. Lao Tzu asks us to go back to those days. One should trust all without doubt.

One should appreciate his own foods.

One should appreciate his own appearance.

One should appreciate where he lives.

One should enjoy his own customs. Don't be jealous of others. Don't try to copy someone else's way of living. Just accept who you are and enjoy what you have.

"Neighboring countries" means «you and the others». You and the others "can see each other". You can see the others, and the others can see you. In other words, you "create" the others, and the others define you. A question arises. What is the relation between your hologram and the others'? How do yours and theirs interact?

Lao Tzu answers the question. "People in one country" signifies your hologram, and "the voice of dogs and roosters in another country" another hologram. In conclusion, they are the same thing: a manifestation of Tao, but let's expound it step by step. First, you think that others exist independently, but they are part of your hologram, that is too say, the extended part of yourself (=non-you). Second, you think that your own self exists, but it is also part of your hologram. In other words, it doesn't exist. Then, you may wonder who in the world is projecting the hologram. The answer is quite simple. Tao is, which is true You. Zen Buddhists adore a beautiful metaphor of the dewdrops reflecting the moonlight. The moon is Tao, and the image of the moon on the dewdrops is your hologram. The light is called Mugeko 無碍光, literally the light without obstacles. Some may still wonder how many dewdrops (=holograms) there are in the world. The answer is one. Hopefully, you can overcome the trap of the concept of individuality and embrace the idea that a myriad of the seemingly independent dewdrops are in fact one.

"Without coming and going between their countries" suggests no interference. You don't try to control the image in a dewdrop (=a hologram). After all, it is reflecting true You, which is Tao.

  [Related Articles]


If you want to visit the onsen hot spring resort of Yasunari Kawabata's «Snow Country», go to Tokyo station and take the Joetsu Shinkansen bullet train for Yuzawa Onsen. To ski, take the train for Gala Yuzawa. The station is situated inside the ski area. It takes 75 minutes. Be careful! They are two different stations. The latter is only open during the winter. To taste Komako the geisha's Onsen, get off at the former, Yuzawa Onsen station. Careful again! The train goes too fast. To experience the famous beginning of the novel: "The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country." (translated by Edward G. Seidensticker), take the local train on Joetsu line.  川端康成「雪国」 上越新幹線  湯沢温泉  ガーラ湯沢  湯沢温泉駅  上越線

-Chapter 66 Lower yourself. Mugeko 無碍光 is also mentioned there.

-Chapter 63b Big is small. If you accept the fact that the world is your hologram, what's going to happen to you? With some help from Zen master Dogen, We discuss «the concept of holography in Taoism and Zen Buddhism».

-Taoism videos / Chapter 80 1-5 Ki or Qi?

-Taoism videos / Chapter 80 6-9 Face transmission (Menju)

-Taoism videos / Chapter 80 10-13 Moon

Quick guide > Tao Te Ching translation > Chapter 80 Small country

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Probably, Yukichi Fukuzawa 福沢諭吉 might be the first modern Japanese citizen. Fukuzawa contributed to the creation of a modern state and founded a modern university. While everything modern in the West impressed this samurai, something ancient in the East amused this gentleman without a Chonmage 丁髷, the typical samurai hair-do. While studying the western economic system, he enjoyed reading Tao Te Ching 道徳経. His name Fukuzawa is composed of two Kanji / Chinese characters: fuku 福 / luck and sawa 沢 / swamp. If Lao Tzu 老子 and old Sai 塞翁 looked at the muddy swamp of the Japanese economy, they would certainly say: "No, no. It is not bad at all. You never know. It might be a lucky swamp."