Dao De Jing 32 – Dao and the world: unnamed vs. the named

Dao does not have a name. It can not be owned or controlled.

When one abides in it, all things will follow.

-> When the self does not arise, problem does not arise, and the world flows in perfect harmony.

Dew falls under the combined effect of heaven and earth, people cannot control it and it has its own balance.

-> Water and climate interchange in perfect harmony between heaven and earth, without the need for any human control/manipulation.

In the beginning name arise, when names arise, people know their limits, knowing the limits and therefore can last.

-> From non-form arises forms, which entails limitations (e.g. change of names of subjects).  If we know our reality prior to the name arising, we can then last through the change of names.

Dao when manifest as the world, is like valley carrying the rivers and seas.

-> Forms are limited, Dao has no limit.

* * *

Chapter 32 Discussion:

Following Chapter 28, which recommends knowing the masculine and abiding in the feminine, this chapter calls for knowing the limits of name, and realizing the reality prior to names.  Through knowing the limitations of names and forms and our reality underneath them, we can then accept and free from them.

When we surrender our attachments and aversions in our self, we will see harmony in the world, like water is always balanced between heaven and earth.

Bilingual test of Chapter 32: http://www.lisiming.net/philosophy/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj11-3/


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