My Journey with the Tao: Verse 1

The tao that can told

is not the eternal Tao.

The name that can be named

is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.

Naming is the origin

of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.

Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations

arise from the same source.

This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.

The gateway to all understanding.

My notes:

What is the unnamable Tao? 

  • Is it too big for the human mind to understand?
  • Is naming a tao a way for us to understand and bring it down to our level?

“Free from desire, you realize the mystery.”

  • Freeing your mind allows you to reach a better understanding of the Tao
  • You shouldn’t get caught up in things that aren’t important. Those things keep you from freedom.
  • Freeing yourself from desire is a way to escape from things that are not good.

Eternal Tao, Eternal Name 

  • Is the Tao eternally real?

“Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.”

  • Strong emphasis on darkness.
  • Is darkness inherently bad like we have been taught? Or can darkness be a way to find goodness?

-UN

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