Excerpt from Step 9: Person plus Dao plus Inch

Naming the Nameless Tao

In order to discriminate various things, we name them. In order to identify them, we label them. In order to make use of them, we possess them. Name then becomes the mentally identified reality. Label creates the controllable identity, and usage becomes the practical obsession (or habit). Essentially that is how we discriminate ourselves.

In the end, as in the beginning, God loses His great image. God becomes an empty network of a mental system whereby everyone defines his or her own God within. Goddess becomes a victim of hateful, violent, and criminal actions. The humanity is then lost into the professionally identified labels. We are no longer human, we are labels.

Love is a label, success is a label, sickness is a label, and death is a label. Following the usage becomes the make-believe personification. We make and operate machinery to perform what we have done manually in the past. We make love by enacting a loveable and attractive performance. We let our life proceed miserably. We choose to suffer in the name of religion. We are forcing God to struggle madly to entangle and re-route us. In a name-constructed society, the name becomes the self-induced and self-seeking god. That is what our ego calls upon and eventually destroys. When one ego designates a god, another ego flares up in defense of its own named god. Above all others, God, in his infinity, watches as an ego-defined and ethnocentric identity. He becomes all God and then No-God. This is not the case with the Tao.

"Tao is eternally nameless" (32:1, 37:1) Therefore,

"When the Tao is spoken forth, plainly: It has no flavor at all.
Look, but that is not sufficient for seeing.
Listen, but that is not sufficient for hearing.
Use it, but it is not exhausted."

(Lao Zi 35: 3-4)

Being nameless and undetectable before the human perception, Tao remains in its undivided and unsuffused simplicity. It is so simple and so plain that it enables the source of all things in the universe.

When people ask me what my religion is, I reluctantly reply "Taoism" for there is pain within the heart. It is so difficult to call it by name. But what else can I call it? I am a Taoist by name, but not a Taoist by nature :Tao is nameless. I am Taoist by choice, but not a Taoist by voice: Tao is nameless. I am nameless. Who am I? . God answers the silence with silence. What am I as I stand before the Tao?
Tao is plain, simple, silent. I cannot picture myself with any other choice. I ask Goddess, why am I here? The Goddess Widow sheds tears without showing any direction. Where will I return to? What can I do? I identify the god as the self in order to be identified mentally. I make the goddess the widow to glorify my sexuality. I make myself miserable knowing that there is suffering beyond suffering.

Before the eye of Tao, everything is "simple, like uncarved wood" (15:3), including the Tao itself. What can I then do? "Observe the plain and embrace the simple. Do not think much and do not desire much. Get rid of learning and worry will disappear." (19:3) I realize, as Lao Zi did,

"Though simplicity is small, the world cannot treat it as subservient. If lords and rulers can hold on to it,
everything becomes self-sufficient." (32:2)

If lords and rulers would abide by it, all things would evolve out of themselves." (37:1)

Oh, the Lord within me! Oh, the Lords of selves! How to abide by it? The distance voice echoes:

"For the world, the sage keeps the mind simple." (49:3)

To this Lao Zi responds: "When I choose non-desire, people remain simple." (57:4) He is speaking the truth by saying that: "Those who practiced Tao in olden times did not enlighten people, rather thay made people simple. What makes it hardest to govern people is what they know." (65:1)


I then stand at the edge of the calming echoless sea and shout into the endless blue sky: "All things return, yet there is no claim of ownership, so it is forever without desire. This can be called small. All things return, yet there is no claim of ownership. This can be called great." (34:2)


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