Tao is full of paradoxical phrases.
It contains wisdom our western logic cannot comprehend.
But the world is inherently illogical - so why try to understand it logically?
Being illogical could be the best way to reach the truth.

In this thread I will try to post some thoughts/teachings of Tao for discussion.

I will start with a favourite of mine…

“Seek the empty, if you wish to be full”…

A beautiful picture. Can you read the language?
And what is your experience with / interpretation of this first teaching?

Love Tao.

The teaching seem paradoxical, and they are, but also logical in the most absolute way. If we can accept that opposites co-exist, need each other, the answers to our questions, is it one way or the other, is both. Both is the answer. How can it be? I don’t know.

If a man is big compared to ant, but small compared to an elephant, is the man big or small? The answer is both. This is only illogical when we press ourselves to commit to one side, for the sake of, I don’t know, progress? Logic is really then just an assumption, to play along to.

I believe in the empty/full phrase above. If you want to stop doing something, do it more, do it as much as possible so that action will fade away naturally. You’d think to go from empty to full you’d need linear progress, steps forward, when really you go backwards and fall through the backdoor.

The empty is infinite, anything by comparison is less than full!

No matter what our state or condition we are always entire [e.g. you are always a whole being even if old, crippled, female or whatever [lols]], this is only limited by our perception, until that to becomes infinite.

First there are no parts only wholes, then there are no wholes only the whole.
First there are only parts, then those parts are wholes, then there are no wholes only the whole = each part is a whole part of the whole, there can be no fractions.
-we are all thus infinite at base, so to is everything.

So if you want to communicate or teach, then you should stop doing it and embrace the opposite.


I have seen some of your responses here at ILP and have no hesitation in saying that, more often than not, you get the gist of the issues. But, not this time.

This paradox of seeking empty and getting full leads us straight to Nitz’s most basic premise of Will to Power.

There are two ways of handling this issue.

One is what Nitz suggested- Will to Power.
While, the second is just opposite- Power to Will.

Will to power is the effort of being full. On the contrary, Power to will is the effort to seek emptiness.

This is to say if you can be the master of your will instead of slave, then there would be no more need of seeking and, In a sense, you will became full.

What is full? Full simply means that nothing is required further. So, the real hurdle in becoming full is Requirement, not achievement. And, confusing achievement with requirement is the problem in becoming full.

What you suggested would not work because, unless and until, the desire of seeking more would not subside, you cannot be full. There is no other way out.

The repetition or the overuse of anything would not eliminate the desire of that thing permanently. Though, in some cases, one may feal some sort of detachment but that would a temporary phenomenon only. Because, the root of the evil, which is desire, would stem out again from those very roots.

Take drugs. Going by your suggestion, a drug addict can be detached from the drugs if he would use drugs more and more as to reach some kind of saturation point. But, as we all know that this is not the solution. The only solution available to the drug addict is to eliminate the desire of the drug.

This simple solution is what the meaning of Seeking the Empty and Getting Full is.

with love,

I’m not going to argue about it, just my two cents…

Empty your mind and heart of thoughts and desires then you will become full with truth and Chi.

The empty is infinite, anything by comparison is less than full!

we are all thus infinite at base,

[to Amorphos]

I guess it could be a good analogy or thought to put your state of mind in a certain (perhaps deeply satisfying/full way), much like when you take a certain Drug which I don’t think is a Frivolous thing. However, when you (or precious child) are in a situation where you are standing in the middle of a road, see a Truck coming at you, all of sudden, this definition of TAO does NOT matter, and you try to run to save your self???

Going by your example, I can say that I once was a drug addict who quit. To suggest that addiction to a drug is pure pleasure would not be true. I got ripped off many times and constantly had to deal with shady people and shady situations. In the end, the social pain outweighed the chemical pleasure and made quitting easier than I thought it could be. This can be compared to people who start to become slightly overweight, knowing they should diet, but don’t do anything about it until they reach some peak weight where they aren’t breathing as well or are more embarrassed by their figure. They knew they should’ve dieted earlier, but they needed to reach a limit of un-satisfaction before their motivation is consistent enough to go the opposite way.

I think both ends of spectrum, being empty and being full, wanting or avoiding are pain. We can’t rid ourselves of the extreme until it is entirely out of our system. Otherwise we “rush ahead but don’t get far” another Tao quote. If you don’t know what action to take, do absolutely nothing, and the right action will materialize, on it’s own time. This is the play of opposites


Habits are habits and not necessarily pleasure giving. One may get the habit of biting the nails. It does not give any pleasure whatsoever, yet, it is as difficult as smoking to get rid of.

But, the real question is why still people could not able to overcome those?

The reason is that, more often than not, knowingly or unknowingy, the subconscious mind becomes addict or follower of any particular thing. It is like a by-pass channel sort of phenomenon. And, when unconscious mind does not get what it is habitual of, it becomes anxious and desperate. This anxiety is felt by conscious mind because both are interlinked and affect each other.

One thing is to understand here is that the though the subconscious mind is bigger and more powerful than the conscious one, yet, the final authority is conscious mind. It is bit like a single man holding hundreds of dogs by the chain. And, all dogs are trying to pursue their owner towards different directions. That is the real issue and problem too in getting rid of habits.

Imagine that your neighbor is playing a particular song very loudly which you hate most and you do not want to listen that. Given that you cannot stop him and put earplugs either, what other remedy you have?

Now, there are only two options available here. The first one is to stop hating that song. And, if you cannot do that then the last resort is to play another song in your house even more loudly as to avoid listening the hated one.

So, what happens sometimes is that when some bigger thought (either threat or hope and pleasure), than the habit, permeates the subconscious, then subconscious left the previous habit and becomes the follower of the new one. But remember, even the new is also a form of habit whether right or wrong, not emptiness. So, the subconscious mind is not free from habit even losing the first one. It has just changed the sides and picked the new one instead of the old.

At first, your subconscious mind was occupied by the habit of drug, now it is occupied by the threat of losing social status or may be by the concern of the future of your family. So, whichever thought would be stronger, wins the race.

[u][b]Emptiness is the first option; stop hating the song. But remember, emptiness is not running away from the situation, but to be detached from it.

Play the song you wish, I am not bothered.

But, it is difficult, very difficult[/b][/u].

wit love,

In fact it’s so difficult that Ntz may be accused of a divertissement in not placing more power into Schopenhauer’s vain attempt to disengage. His solution to like the music, has turned sour: as sartre’s inauthentic player has come down. This may have been, no, was foreseen. Therefore the power of the will is forsaken because of this hypocrisy. With both failing the test, the only alternative left is simultaneous holding of elemental contradiction.
(As the starting point, rather then comparing say, one piece of music to another).

Empty and full need not ever relate, as Nano bug suggest, and I don’t get that from the Tao example, one can be full in emptiness, and empty while full.


I did not get clearly what you are trying to say. Would you explain if further?

with love,

I disagree that these teachings are illogical!!! It is perfectly logical to say “Seek the empty, if you wish to be full”. It means, if you don’t have a desire (or worry), you WILL be fulfilled (at least temporally). I personally know many homeless people (begging for a change) who are the happiest and most honest God-loving people I’ve known. That’s ONE way of living! However, in order to achieve something significant such as composing music like Beethoven or winning a Gold medal in Olympic, it WILL require a tortuous discipline (more psychological than physical though). Sure, if you just give up all the “wants” and not being responsible and sit quietly, you can attain the sense of full-ness or fulfillment! No doubt about it!

I plan to soon buy a Taoism encyclopedia ebook. I think it is one of the purest religions.

“Seek the empty, if you wish to be full.” That slogan is not a paradoxial phrase, not illogical.

Why are you saying, that Tao „contains wisdom our western logic cannot comprehend“? Logic is logic. You are suggesting the existence of different „logics“, and that is paradox because Tao is comprehendible for all those who know logic. What you mean is that for a Non-Chinese Tao is more difficult to understand than for a Chinese. But that does not also mean that „our western logic cannot comprehend“ Tao.

I believe the word “TAO” and the word “DAO” refer to the same subject … ditto for Taoism and Daoism.
Chinese scholars have been debating the original intentions of “DAO” teachings for a very long time … the debate continues today … see “The Classic of the DAO – A New Investigation by Wang Keping.

chinabooks.ch/catalog/produc … ts_id=9083

My personal interpretation of the Daoist suggestion “empty your mind” is analogous to the teacher who erases the blackboard as the first step in preparation for a new lesson. Erasing a blackboard is a simple task … erasing years and years of psychological programming is obviously not.
Seems to me Zen Buddism … originally at least … advocated the same task:
“Bodhidharma’s definition:
A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence on words and letters;
Direct pointing to the mind of man;
Seeing into one’s nature and attaining Buddhahood”

Perhaps an example of the challenge in emptying one’s mind would be to subscribe to the following…which on the surface appears anaemic to Western thought:

“Whether you are a gem in the Royal Court
Or a stone on the common path
If you accept your part with humility
The power of the universe will be yours”

For me, this first teaching means that you should not try too hard to do things/ learn things/ be someone/ earn money/ etc…
This is the only way of truly knowing the world…
Non-thinking (which is what meditation is all about) is the best way to get in touch with the essence of the cosmos…

Only ignorance is true knowledge.