deci belle

The TTC has no philosophical basis especially in Chapter 16

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Chapter 16 for taoist adepts by deci belle



Emptiness is the limit of the limitless

The Center has never moved

As things act up

Witness Return

As Creation returns

See Return rooted in stillness

Stillness is the ultimate of survival

Survival is living long

Knowledge of long life is wise

Suffering Causelessness is ignorant

Knowledge of beginninglessness is seeing nonbeing

Selfless Nonbeing has no partiality

Impersonal awareness has no equal

The unsurpassed is Celestial Nature

Celestial means the Way

The Way living long

Serene and unperturbable



Now when the Sage speaks of Return, it is not that the ten thousand things and creation itself is outside of your own existence. You yourself are comprised of billions of living organisms right now. This is no mystery nor is it philosophy— it's you. Can you be still in the extreme and know Return?


So when you personally witness the extreme of stillness, you can then know Return. The result of the extreme of stillness is Return, symbolized by the 24th hexagram: one yang line under five yin lines. Return is the first emergence of pure yang from within the extreme of stillness, Earth, symbolized by six yin lines. This is not a matter of activity, but of experiential knowledge of the stirring of the Real from within observation of the extreme of nonpsychological stillness.


The symbols of the I Ching are too ancient to know in terms of scholastic generalities. The knowledge imbedded in the symbols are older than Chinese culture. Even thought the current order of the hexegrams attributed to Fu Hsi, 3000 BC; were arranged by King Wen and the lines elucidated by his son, Duke of the Chou Dynasty, 1100 BC; and various early commentaries attributed to the humanist, educator and philosopher Confucious, 5th~6th centuries BC, the source of this ancient sourcebook clearly has survived by virtue of its utilitarian cloak as a book of prognostication.


Adepts take the 24th hexagram's commentary expressed by Confucious as evidence of the knowledge imbedded in the ancient symbols and signs predating Fu Hsi's creation of the doubling of the trigrams and their arrangement by King Wen. It reads:




Was this included in the I Ching and Mentioned by Lao Tzu, just in case some future absent-minded emperor might forget what to do on the winter solstice? Just more evidence of philosophical drivel accidentally making it into a world-honored spiritual classic so as to be confused as philosophy by literalists and recreational philosophers? Let us ponder evidences of the Real.


Not using discriminatory consciousness (did not inspect the regions); stilling arbitrary opportunistic activities (caravans); shutting sensual perception and employing impersonal awareness in the extreme of stillness (the king shutting the gates on the winter solstice); the limit of the limitless spontaneously reverting to Celestial movement (thunder is in the earth, return).


This is no different than my version of the 16th chapter above, which is no different than the Real described by Lao Tzu, who did not refer to words and meanings to describe the Celestial design, but rather employed poetic wisdom. There is just no excuse to habitually ponder the meanings of dead words attributed to the TTC in terms of translated philosophy other than pure intellectualism, and clinging to the literal rather than discovering the Real for oneself outside of words.


The true value of the classics is in looking back on them from the vantage point of enlightened realization. Sorry, it's a fact— so don't blame me that pondering the classics before fathoming the mind is a case of the blind feeling for truth in words without the ability to see in the dark. Only spiritual adepts and buddhas comprehend this, otherwise, how would you know?


In order to recognize the wellspring of this first emergence of pure yang within oneself, one must be able to find emptiness in the extreme of stillness in one's own mind. "But for the return not to be difficult, it is necessary to know clearly where the source of the river is, movement coming from the extreme of stillness. Lao Tzu said, 'Effect emptiness to the extreme, guard stillness carefully; as myriad things act in concert, I thereby watch the return.' The I Ching says, 'Repeating the path, coming back in seven days.' Both of these point to this river source where the mind of Tao and its real knowledge arise." (From Chang Po-tuan's Understanding Reality, written in 1000CE)


Hmmmmm, doesn't sound like a whole lotta belief going on around here, does there? Where does the literalist translation/philosophy crowd get its arbitrary ideas to idly pass the time entertaining and clinging to personalistic beliefs and dead interpretations? The Classics are the result of enlightening activity by enlightening beings. You'd think that was the secret of enlightenment itself, but it's not. The classics have been left behind to guide those with the will to enlightenment, not recreationalists smugly abusing the work of ages as a mere pastime, suggesting that Lao Tzu's immortal classic is at core, a philosophical work.


To be sure, the 16th chapter has at its core, a profound depth of transcendent awareness, and even a simple elucidation of the Celestial design in ordinary terms. It is just that worldlings cannot recognize what is not less in ignoramuses and not more in buddhas. That is, recognizing the real in the midst of the false with the knowledge that if not for the false, there would be no real to recognize.


Few people know the I Ching as a glossary of types of time and that recognizing the real in the midst of the false is a matter of times. Movement and stillness is the alternation of changes. One yin and one yang is Change. This is why enlightening beings watch for Return. Endless transformations take place therein. The alternations of yin and yang are irrefutable. Nothing can exist that does not follow the inexorable alternations of its breath. Yogis watch their breath; wizards watch the rhythm of Creation to observe Return in order to transcend Change; thereby to live long, serene and unperturbable. Only enlightening beings who witness the Unchanging can transcend the cycles of Created changes while in the midst of ordinary situations unbeknownst to anyone.


The movement from the extreme of stillness is precisely when the great medicine appears. This movement is the movement of mind itself from within the extreme of one's own empty stillness. This is not meditation practice. This is the awareness of enlightened mind, no different than your own everyday mind— but you must first see this mind in order to bring it to consciousness.


It is not a matter of arbitrarily stilling the mind and body's movement, but rather observing the rhythm of one's own activity and stillness with subtle concentration over a long period of time. Subtle concentration is the extreme inner stillness of nonpsychological observation. This is the meaning of "refine the self and await the time". The time refers to the spontaneous arising of the Celestial from the extreme of stillness: Return. One rests securely in this.


Being insecure means producing feelings in regard to objects. Resting is truly knowing where real knowledge arises.




It said spiritual, not philosophical. It said explanation, not meaning. Literalist translators and dabblers in recreational philosophy ought to take particular note here.


Since the classic on the Yin Convergence is mentioned in the same breath as the Power of Tao, I ask you: how many of you have even heard of the Yin Convergence Classic, much less studied it with the will to enlightenment?


"From ancient times to the present, the adepts have all investigated the true principles in these two classics and arrived at the real explanation, whereby they have comprehended essence and life."





ed note: Change "1000AD" to "1000CE", remove dbl-spaces on Chapter 16; quotes from Chang Po-tuan's Understanding Reality translated by Thomas Cleary. University of Hawaii Press, 1987.

Edited by deci belle
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Philosophy implies a ''Love of Wisdom' but where it's done professionally, it's a job.

Nothing springs fully formed from the void in the academy so all jobbing philosophers identify with schools and schools of philosophy are just posher version of street gangs but without the physical fighting. Instead of crack dens we have our in-house journals where we can get together and grouse about those 'wrong' philosophers over in those other journals.

Bit sad really, but it's indoor work with no heavy lifting involved and the holiday entitlement is second to none.

TTC, and your article above on the other hand deci-belle; now those really are are wise.

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oh dear… how very sweet mr P!!❤


I will include this from another post. Even though I know not a stitch of Chinese and only referred to a few translations to ferret out my lines, I was deliberate in the use of the words and mirrored the original with my version. I also came up with phrases for the latter section where Lao Tzu uses "king" to express what is most king-like about people~ it's not what we think. 仙



"knowledge of beginninglessness is seeing nonbeing

selfless nonbeing has no partiality

impersonal awareness has no equal

the unsurpassed is celestial nature"


Because impartial selfless awareness is the locus of consciousness in terms of the intent of the human body, which has no location, therefore Lao Tzu refers to this as "king".


Also, it is possible to master chapters in the TTC; similarly so in the I Ching. This chapter in particular describes the abstract of take-over in terms of a Complete Reality taoist alchemic operation~ also expressed in the Yin Convergence. It is not exclusive to the Schools of Complete Reality, northern or southern, much less taoism or buddhism, for that matter— just described directly in its praxis.


This is really none other than the middle way, suchness, living the tao in reality, adapting to conditions selflessly; it is just endless transformations whereby enlightening beings transcend the false by way of the real, passing through events spontaneously by the spiritual power of freed potential by virtue of their own ability to see return in ordinary events.


This is knowing how to live long, serene and unperturbable.





ed note: add everything after responding to Mr P's gracious comment❤

Edited by deci belle
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Reminded me of this ... not sure why ...




William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)



Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.


The darkness drops again but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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