Tao de Ching #10 – Use the Emptiness

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.


What is Tao is the void. It can be “used any way you want”. So with emptiness, to contain it properly, as enclosed by the shape of a bowl, is to find it’s optimal use. That is somewhat of the nature of Tao – how can it be used well, not wastefully. It is always present and always has been. We cannot relate to the universe without it, as it is the silent “way” that we connect. We can connect badly, with force, and in this way Tao is elusive. We get what we want, but lose and waste much and by obtaining what we want in this way, many lose ends remain. Tao is never too much, never too little. To work with Tao, to to some extent, let things happen and act on what happens rather than the reverse – this increases fluidity and decreases resistance.

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