Dao De Jing 1 – Dao is beyond words and names, form and non form
“The Dao that can be spoken is not the enduring and unchanging Dao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.”
-> As Dao is beyond forms, words and names are only symbols and pointers of the Dao.
“Nothingness, is the origin of heaven and earth; Beingness, is the mother of all things.”
-> Prior to the self/i arising (e.g. in deep sleep), there is no perception and therefore no heaven and earth. With the self/i arising, perception appears and one see all things.
” Abide in nothingness, one see deep wisdom; Abide in beingness, one see boundless creation.”
->When one discover the reality beyond forms, one discover the wisdom beyond the phenomenon world, when one abide in the reality of forms, one see the diversity of all creation.
“Both arise from same source but have different names, together they are called mystery.” “Lie in the deepest of mystery, is the gate to all wisdom and wonder.”
->If there is a ultimate reality that is accountable for all creations, it gives rise to both (form & beyond form). Together and beyond separation ties are gateway to the deepest wisdom and wonder.
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Chapter 1 Discussion:
In this first chapter of Daodejing, Laozi presents the nature of reality (Dao) as beyond words, names, forms, and non-form. It represents the source of above all, and is beyond all dualistic separations such as form/non-form, being/nothing. This chapter cautions readers up front that one should not be lost in words, even that from this Daodejing itself. Treat them as pointers and temporary information, but seek and aim for the (Dao). The Chapter also introduces Dao as beyond duality and opposites. Typically, our minds likes to draw separation and describe the world with a subject and an object (e.g. a “i” in a “world”, a “this” vs. “that”), and think of phenomena as having opposites such as hot/cold, fast/slow, high/low, etc. Laozi discovered the reality (Dao) as beyond all this separations, including the ultimate separation of nothingness(non-form) and beingness(forms).
DDJ Chapter 1 bilingual text: https://www.lisiming.net/philosophy/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj1-8/