Dao De Jing 6 – Feminine Quality of the Dao
The valley-like spirit does not die, it is the mysterious femininity.
-> Dao is like a vast valley that is everlasting, Laozi called it the mysterious femininity. Why feminine? In Chinese culture, e.g. Book of Changes, Femininity is associated with giving birth, allowing, and embracing all things, with earth being the most “Yin” and feminine of all phenomena. Just as the earth carries all things without preference or limits, the Dao allows for the arising and disappearing of all things, impartially, without limit, and without ends.
The door of this mysterious femininity, is the root of heaven and earth.
-> When one arrives at the gateway of this mysterious femininity, such as during the moment transiting to or from deep sleep and meditation, one finds the root of heaven and earth within. i.e. when one enters into the door, self disappear and so is the perceived heaven and earth; as the self appears, so is the appearance of heaven and earth and all entails.
It exist gently and steadily, we use it and it has no limit.
-> This source (the mysterious femininity) is everlasting, limitless, and without end.
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Chapter 6 Discussion:
People often associates themselves with the masculine: I am this, i want to do this, i seek this, i will this to happen. Laozi, being a enlightened master, found that the feminine is also useful in cultivating the Dao. Instead of driven by a strong and masculine “self”, he advocates for surrendering the attachment to, and identification of the “self”. Through laying down one’s bias, judgements, desires, one learns to live one’s life in harmony with the natural rhythm of the universe, and will eventually realizes the reality beyond the “self”. The acceptance of our more feminine side, therefore, facilitates the process.
DDJ Chapter 6 bilingual text: https://www.lisiming.net/philosophy/chinese-philosophy/daoist/daoist-philosophy/dao-de-jing-core-33-chapters/ddj1-8/