Laozi: the only motion is returning

In Tao the only motion is returning;
The only useful quality, weakness.
For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,
Being itself is the product of Not-being.

Laozi

This chapter (40) of the Dao De Jing is a classic statement of emptiness, the via negativa, which means God, the source of all existence, is a darkness to the intellect and a Being devoid of all the attributes that characterise our physical reality.

Return, reversal, weakness, softness, meekness: these human attributes are our way of coming to know Him and trust in His power.

Being is you 有 meaning “have”, not-being is wu 無 meaning “without”.

In Christianity and other systems we are taught that God alone is real, and all else borrows its existence from Him. In Daoism and Buddhism the same relationship is expressed as an “emptiness” or “non-being” from which all things come forth.

Either way, trusting God begins with knowing that there’s a spiritual reality behind the reality of things we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.

21 thoughts on “Laozi: the only motion is returning

  1. The mother as holy spirit that nurture a all life including all that do not recgnize that the way jesus resides for redemption has a narrow gate with novarying from the path..the path has an eternal unchnging name..it can’t be given a name because it always has had the same eternal name yhwh but yhwh is not the creaor but rather THE ELOHIM..a plural hebrew cocept..the chief power of all of the ELOHIM is THE CHRIST..the first begotten of the dead..so thru the christ..as the bibles says all things for salvation for all souls WERE CREATED BY THE CHRIST

  2. A la hatcher
    the Dao, before it was anything else, was the metaphor of a path, and not of a
    field. Now, it may be the path that the field travels through time, the weaving
    and unweaving of its biodiversity, its seral [sic] succession and so forth, but
    this does not include all of the things that the field never was or became, any
    more than the path includes everything that is off of the path. The widest the
    path gets, then, is at that part along which the universe comes into being. The
    Dao may also be considered as “natural law,” at least prior to its formulation.
    While it should not be regarded as a creator or first cause, it might be consid-
    ered to be a vast “enabling.”
    10q It is likely there was much speculation about mystical powers when the
    Dao De Jing was written, just as there is today. Here Lao Zi seems to be
    saying that the ordinary behavior of everyday reality is a good example of
    mystical power.

    THE MULTIPLICITY AS  THRU THE MOTHER OF EVERYTHING OF THE WHOLE FIELD OF BEING.

    THE Field IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE UNCHANGING PATH THAT AS AN ETERNAL UNCHANGING NAME AS HATCHER SAYS WHERE ALL THE WEAKNESSES..NOT STAYING ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW…
    Thus…
    In Tao the only motion is returning;
    ITS FUNCTION IS TO REDEEM ALL
    The only useful quality, weakness.
    AND ITDOES SUCH BY EXPOSING THE WEAKNESSES THAT HAVE COME ABOUT BY ABUSE OF FREE WILL
    For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,
    Being itself is the product of Not-being
    AND COUP DE GRACE IS NOT THAT THE DAO IS NOT-BEING RATHER IT IS AS HATCHER TRANSLATES…

    Link for hatcher
    http://www.hermetica.info/

    • As oft be the case
      Hatcher is in denial how the ultimate wisdom is as origen taught that universal redemption is by WAY OF THE SHED BLOD OF JESUS

    • Non-being is the Father, Dao is the word/son, and De is the Holy Spirit.
      They arrived at it intuitively, so what you get is observation of the “way” governing all things, the “non-being” they emerged from, and the “mysterious power” we experience when we follow the way.

      • Jesus christ is first only begotten son of the father…
        But as to the father. Err BEING NON-BEING
        And if that is what the dao de jing teaches
        ..it’s being is methinks
        But as in revelation 10.7
        Its mysteries and it being will be fully known
        When chronos time ceases at the sounding of the 7th trumpet

        Now as to the holy spirit
        Does it proceed just from the father as I think the eastern church says or as Catholics say..from both the father and the son..?

        • Being/non-being is semantics. You can just as easily say non-being/being.
          Simply, God is darkness to the intellect.

          But I’m curious: are you talking about practice or just metaphysics? Daoism is intuitively and practically focused. Christianity is too, but they developed intellectually driven offshoots.

          As for the filioque controversy, pretty sure it started as a translation error. Great example of “why don’t you ask the Spirit itself and see if it matters?”

        • Oops I put this earlier later??meant to put it here

          Rev 10

          when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write: and I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Seal the things which the seven thunders have spoken, and write them not. 5And the angel whom I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his right hand to the heaven, 6and swore by him that lives to the ages of ages, who created the heaven and the things that are in it, and the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be no longer delay; 7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God also shall be completed, as he has made known the glad tidings to his own bondmen the prophets.

          8And the voice which I heard out of the heaven [was] again speaking with me, and saying, Go, take the little book which is opened in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the earth. 9And I went to the angel, saying to him to give me the little book. And he says to me, Take and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey. 10And I took the little book out of the hand of the angel, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth as honey, sweet; and when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter. 11And it was said to me, Thou must prophesy again as to peoples and nations and tongues and many kings.

      • Some aquinas about the holy trinity

        According to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, text 49), a thing is denominated chiefly by its perfection, and by its end. Now generation signifies something in process of being made, whereas paternity signifies the complement of generation; and therefore the name “Father” is more expressive as regards the divine person than genitor or begettor.

        In human nature the word is not a subsistence, and hence is not properly called begotten or son. But the divine Word is something subsistent in the divine nature; and hence He is properly and not metaphorically called Son, and His principle is called Father

        It would seem that this name “Father” is not applied to God, firstly as a personal name. For in the intellect the common precedes the particular. But this name “Father” as a personal name, belongs to the person of the Father; and taken in an essential sense it is common to the whole Trinity; for we say “Our Father” to the whole Trinity. Therefore “Father” comes first as an essential name before its personal sense.

        The eternal comes before the temporal. But God is the Father of the Son from eternity; while He is the Father of the creature in time. Therefore paternity in God is taken in a personal sense as regards the Son, before it is so taken as regards the creature.

        • Aquinas is good, but scholasticism is a hobby compared to mysticism, and he prefaced everything with acknowledgement that we can say nothing of God directly. And he ended his life with the recognition that all his writings were “like straw”.

  3. I be about done methinks with this coup de grace
    A deeper seeming contrariness
    Of the essential biblical relatedness of true joy and suffering for the sake of others

    Paul referred to his intense suffering as “light affliction” compared with the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” that awaits God’s servants at the resurrection (2 Corinthians 4:17; see also Romans 8:18). What a great attitude

  4. Daos can dao, but they are not constant (fixed, predictable) daos
    Designations can designate, but they are not constant (fixed, predictable) designations
    In the absence of designation, the world as a whole arises
    In the presence of designation, infinite diversity is born
    It is usually the case that, having no preferences, one observes subtle profundity
    It is usually the case that, having preferences, one observes superficial limitations and distinctions
    These pairs arise simultaneously, but are differently named —
    Their simultaneity is termed “mysterious”
    Mystery, and then further mystery —
    The gateway into all wonder.

    Translated by Alan Fox

    Despite the fact that the Dao De Jing 道德經 is one of the most frequently translated texts in history, most of these translations share certain unexamined and problematic assumptions which often make it seem as though the text is irrational, incoherent, and full of non sequiturs. Frequently, these assumptions involve the imposition of historically anachronous, linguistically unsound, and philosophically problematic categories and attitudes onto the text. One of the main causes of the problem is the persistent tendency on the part of most translators to read the first line of the text as referring to or implying the existence of some kind of “eternal Dao.” These are what I term “ontological” readings, as opposed to the “process” reading I will be articulating here.

  5. As I will attempt to show in this talk, Lao Tzu’s understanding of the Tao is a foreshadowing of what would later be revealed of God through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Incidentally, in this talk, I will not be treating the religious Taoism which developed several centuries after Lao Tzu in China. I will be limiting my discourse to what is commonly known as philosophical Taoism, and specifically, to the philosophy of Lao Tzu.

    In choosing the Tao Te Ching as my bridge between Eastern philosophy and Orthodox Christianity, I was inspired not only by my own admiration and an appreciation for this intriguing work of ancient Chinese philosophy, but also, as was mentioned, by the life and work of my late spiritual father, Father Seraphim Rose. Father Seraphim was the person most instrumental in my own conversion to Orthodox Christianity 28 years ago, and was the co-founder of the St. Herman monastery, where I live

    https://www.ancientfaith.com/specials/christ_the_eternal_tao/christ_the_eternal_tao_-_part_1

    The Speaker:

    Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen) is an Eastern Orthodox priest, monk and spiritual child of ascetic and spiritual struggler Bl. Father Seraphim Rose, of St Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California. Fr Damascene is the author of Fr Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works and Christ the Eternal Tao, as well as numerous articles on Eastern Orthodox faith, doctrine a

  6. Rev 10

    when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write: and I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Seal the things which the seven thunders have spoken, and write them not. 5And the angel whom I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his right hand to the heaven, 6and swore by him that lives to the ages of ages, who created the heaven and the things that are in it, and the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be no longer delay; 7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God also shall be completed, as he has made known the glad tidings to his own bondmen the prophets.

    8And the voice which I heard out of the heaven [was] again speaking with me, and saying, Go, take the little book which is opened in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the earth. 9And I went to the angel, saying to him to give me the little book. And he says to me, Take and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey. 10And I took the little book out of the hand of the angel, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth as honey, sweet; and when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter. 11And it was said to me, Thou must prophesy again as to peoples and nations and tongues and many kings.

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