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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 11

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Legge

 

11 
The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty 
space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends.

Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that 
their use depends.

The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends.

Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness. 

 

 

Lau

 

11 

Thirty spokes share one hub. 
Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the cart. 
Knead clay in order to make a vessel. 
Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the vessel. 
Cut out doors and windows in order to make a room. 
Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose in hand, and you will have the use of the room.

Thus what we gain is Something, yet it is by virtue of Nothing that this can be put to use. 

 

 

Feng/English

 

11

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub; 

It is the center hole that makes it useful. 
Shape clay into a vessel; 
It is the space within that makes it useful. 
Cut doors and windows for a room; 
It is the holes which make it useful. 
Therefore benefit comes from what is there; 
Usefulness from what is not there.

 

 

Bill Porter (Red Pine)

 

11

Thirty spokes converge on a hub

but it's the emptiness that makes a wheel work

pots are fashioned from clay

but it's the hollow that make a pot work
windows and doors are carved for a house

but it's the spaces that make a house work
existence makes a thing useful

but nonexistence makes it work

 

 

Jonathan Star

 

11

Wu is nothingness, emptiness, no-existence

Thirty spokes of a wheel all join at at a common hub yet only the hole at the center allows the wheel to spin
Clay is molded to form a cup yet only the space within allows the cup to hold water
Walls are joined to make a room yet only by cutting out a door and a window can one enter the room and live there
Thus, when a thing has existence alone it is mere dead-weight
Only when it has wu, does it have life

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Derek Lin provides some easy to understand interpretations as a starting point.

 

http://www.taoism.net/ttc/chapters/chap11.htm

 

Tao Te Ching

Translation and Interpretation

by Derek Lin

 

 

Chapter 11

 

 

 

Thirty spokes join in one hub

In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle

Mix clay to create a container

In its emptiness, there is the function of a container

Cut open doors and windows to create a room

In its emptiness, there is the function of a room

 

Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit

That which is empty is used to create functionality

 

Interpretation

 

In a wheel, thirty spokes come together in one hub. The hole in the center of the hub - the place where it is empty - is what makes the wheel useful as part of a vehicle. This is our first hint that there is more to emptiness than meets the eyes.

 

When we mix clay to create a container, we notice that it is the empty space in the center of the container that gives it the usefulness of holding things. We may assume it is the substance of the container that makes it a container, but it's actually the lack of substance in the middle that allows the container to function as such.

 

When we cut open a wall to make space for windows and doors, we notice that it is these openings that make the room truly useful to us. If such openings did not exist, we would have no way of accessing the room!

 

Therefore, we can see how we create solid objects to provide us with benefits and convenience, but it is actually the emptiness formed by, or embedded in such objects that really provide them with functionality and usefulness.

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Here is my view on chapter 11...

 

The fifteen layers of consciousness (each with 2 polarities - 30 spokes) make up the multiverse;

But it is the underlying Dao that allows their existence.

 

Just like one shapes clay into a bowl, it is the "space within" the form that give it use.

In the same way, without doors and windows, a room has no use.

Similarly, it is critical to notice what is underneath or what form is made up of, as it points the way to the Dao (and that is very useful :) ).
 

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Here is my view on chapter 11...

 

The fifteen layers of consciousness (each with 2 polarities - 30 spokes) make up the multiverse;

But it is the underlying Dao that allows their existence.

 

Just like one shapes clay into a bowl, it is the "space within" the form that give it use.

In the same way, without doors and windows, a room has no use.

Similarly, it is critical to notice what is underneath or what form is made up of, as it points the way to the Dao (and that is very useful :) ).

 

 

For arguments sake :)

 

I'll accept that doors and windows are symbols of 'openings to the space' in question.   In this vein, we can accept that bathrooms rarely have windows but are useful...  but it is the [empty space] opening itself as an archetype of the interior empty space in question.

 

In this sense, the 'openings as empty space to interior empty space' seems interesting.   

 

Ni's last line, an elucidation and not a strict translation, goes: "The substance of your body is enlivened by maintaining the part of you that is unoccupied."

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For arguments sake :)

 

I'll accept that doors and windows are symbols of 'openings to the space' in question.   In this vein, we can accept that bathrooms rarely have windows but are useful...  but it is the [empty space] opening itself as an archetype of the interior empty space in question.

 

In this sense, the 'openings as empty space to interior empty space' seems interesting.   

 

Ni's last line, an elucidation and not a strict translation, goes: "The substance of your body is enlivened by maintaining the part of you that is unoccupied."

 

 

I get that you want to start an argument with me, but not really sure what your argument point is?  What is it that you are arguing with me about? If it helps, all of the bathrooms in my house have a window. :) 

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a palpable, abiding sense that I (a fluid process myself) am swimming through the sentient space of life.

 

Wu as the medium through which Dao expresses the fluid manifestations of the 10,000...

 

Like fish swimming in water.  Matter fluidly flowing through Wu. 

 

All of it alive.

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I get that you want to start an argument with me, but not really sure what your argument point is?  What is it that you are arguing with me about? If it helps, all of the bathrooms in my house have a window. :)

 

My argument is that ALL of my bathrooms have no windows  :D

 

I see something in this:  the 'openings as empty space to interior empty space' seems interesting

 

It may be like a finger pointing to the moon... wonder if that is meant or just, ANY space is 'as above, so below'. 

 

The issues seems to just be a juxtaposition of space vs mass.. and why space is primary.  

 

Is Dao akin to space ?

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My argument is that ALL of my bathrooms have no windows  :D

 

I see something in this:  the 'openings as empty space to interior empty space' seems interesting

 

It may be like a finger pointing to the moon... wonder if that is meant or just, ANY space is 'as above, so below'. 

 

The issues seems to just be a juxtaposition of space vs mass.. and why space is primary.  

 

Is Dao akin to space ?

I don't really see the Dao akin to space, but I think the space is an analogy relative to moving beyond just focusing on form. Maybe think of it like a chalk on a blackboard. We tend to only notice the writing on the blackboard, but not the blackboard itself. The Dao is more like the blackboard that the "chalk" emerges from.

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I don't really see the Dao akin to space, but I think the space is an analogy relative to moving beyond just focusing on form. Maybe think of it like a chalk on a blackboard. We tend to only notice the writing on the blackboard, but not the blackboard itself. The Dao is more like the blackboard that the "chalk" emerges from.

 

Dao is not akin to space...   but space is akin to moving beyond form.   So Dao is not beyond form ?

 

Dao is more like blackboard (form) that the 'chalk' emerges from?

 

I'm still not following this :)

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Dao is not akin to space... but space is akin to moving beyond form. So Dao is not beyond form ?

 

Dao is more like blackboard (form) that the 'chalk' emerges from?

 

I'm still not following this :)

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

The named is the mother of myriad things

 

Thus, constantly free of desire

One observes its wonders

Constantly filled with desire

One observes its manifestations

 

These two emerge together but differ in name

The unity is said to be the mystery

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

 

http://www.taoism.net/ttc/chapters/chap01.htm

Edited by AussieTrees
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Dao is not akin to space...   but space is akin to moving beyond form.   So Dao is not beyond form ?

 

Dao is more like blackboard (form) that the 'chalk' emerges from?

 

I'm still not following this :)

Sorry, no. In the analogy, the chalk writing is the "form", the blackboard is more the the potential for form to exist. If you want to think of the Dao as like space, then maybe like space the contains infinite potential.

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5.5 with, 1.5 without.

 

(Not all in one house...)

Edited by Brian

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our lungs have form made out of muscle and fiber

yet it is the emptiness inside that allows us to gather energy from breath

 

our veins are made of proteins

but it is the empty space within them, through which nutrition moves in the body.

 

form and emptiness are no longer seem separate

 

simply two expressions of one process

 

WuDao 

Edited by silent thunder
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On 13/05/2017 at 12:33 AM, rene said:

Ch11 = Both

 

(-:

 

I just went fishing and caught the fish. Wooo!

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