Dao De Jing 14 – Formless and timeless nature of the Dao
Look but could not see, is called ‘Yi’; Listen but could not hear, is called ‘Xi’; Grasp but could not get, is called ‘Wei’. These three qualities alone could not provide an accurate description (of the Dao), therefore we blend them together as one.
-> The Dao cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be touched.
Its upper part is not bright, its lower part is not obscure. Ceaseless and cannot be named, it goes back to nothingness.
-> It is neither bright nor obscure, beyond name and form.
This is the formless form, non-thing phenomenon, this is between seems and seem-not. We meet it and do not see its front, we follow it and do not see its back.
-> It exists even at the condition of no form/thing, and therefore beyond descriptions of even seems and seem-not. It is all around and within us, yet no one (self) can perceive it.
Align with this ancient way, to master today’s things. At one with the origin since ancient, is the nature of the Dao.
-> This has been the case since the beginning of all, if we can realized it, we can arrive mastery (of things and the self).
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Chapter 14 Discussion:
Is the Dao playing hide and seek with us? How come it is here yet we cannot perceive it? The reason is that it cannot be found with the “self”, which is separate and dualistic in nature, for Dao is beyond separation and duality. The more the “self” tried to find the “Dao”, the further away it is from it, like a cat chasing its own tail. However, when we go beyond the “self”, and abide in this Dao, where all arises from and flows with, we find our origin, we find the center, we find truth, and everlasting peace.
Bilingual text of Chapter 14: https://www.lisiming.net/philosophy/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj11-3/