Taoism enlightenment: Absolute Happiness.

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Hieu Nguyen Ngoc, male, was born 1973. I am Vietnamese. I have BA in Science & English. However, my English is not native, therefore you should forgive me about faults in English, but not my thought as languages maybe different but thinkings are the same. About my Taoism, I thought about it, learnt it, meditated it 12 years, since 1992 to 2004 until I reached enlightenment. Please don’t say that I am arrogant since to be enlightened is to perceive us & the world around are nothingness, not goodness. I never say that I am good but I say I’m chaotic, like Tao which Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu have taught.
To begin with Taoism, we go from facts.I wanna write Taoism in a new way, unlike most of authors about Taoism, only bring Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu to discuss from time to time. I would like to tell you some stories which prove the good is the bad & conversely.
It seems a paradox. But let me tell you an interesting story quoting from the newspaper Ho Chi Minh City Police, which named The “mysterious” motorcycle:

Ngo Van Linh, 41, living in Danang, Vietnam, worked as a single taxi driver with an old motorcycle. At noon 17th December 2004, he was having lunch at home, leaving the motorcycle in the veranda, unlocked. A thief came, started the engine then ran away. The whole family saw that, shouted out loudly then ran after the thief. But Linh was still … phlegmatic, still said:”Run after him slowly, don’t run fast to be tired. He can not steal that vehicle!”. As he said, the vehicle ran just a section of way, then stopped;the engine didn’t work. The thief was frightened, left the motorcycle then ran for his life. Everybody was surprised , asked Linh whether he had a mysterious device for the vehicle. He smiled inanely:”Oh, this motorcle has many illness. He who isn’t familiar with it, can’t ride it.”

A bad motorcycle is hard to be or never can be stolen. Thus, badness is goodness.

The good is also the result of the bad. If everybody is good, we can not recognize who is good and who is bad. As we see our neighbours live bad, we teach our children live good. Since we see wars are brutal, we support peace. Hence, we say, if there is not badness, goodness disappears. If there had been no cruelty of the English, we would not have seen greatness of Benjamin Franklin. If Benjamin Franklin had been born in another era, there would not been great duty for him to work, he would not been such great. You go doing badness, for instance, cheating or stealing, you would see the good: police would catch you, others would love (goodness) those police. Moreover, your victims would be more watchful, would have better abilities. Consequently, goodness is born from badness, or the bad is the good.

Actually, the bad is just bad only to people not having good abilities. For example, Mike Tyson was sitting in a bar. Two drunk men came, said: “you have punches; we have guns”. Mike Tyson got angry, hit the two men. They let Mike Tyson hit them. After that, they sued Mike Tyson. At the court, Mike Tyson had to compensate them. Celebrities sometimes meet this kind of person, with provoking actions. Stars are considered milk cows for others to squeeze. Read this news, we see that Mike Tyson didn’t have a strong ability, and he was shallow. Badness is bad. But to people having great abilities, badness, evil just prove that they are good. For instance, Japan attacked Pearl Habor suddenly. This stimulated US. Lastly, US defeated Japan. Another example, the British invaded America in Washington time. This was badness for Americans. But this only made Washington become great because he led Americans well to defeat the English. The goodness living in peace, in some aspects, is bad. If Washington lived nowadays, he would have no difficulties, great work to do. He would only be a less famous leader. Living in peace makes him less great leader, only as great as President George W Bush, but living in war, or in badness made him the father of the nation, greater. Difficulties which people haven’t been able to solve like AIDS, cancer will be Nobel prizers for the next generations. There are no difficulties, not badness absolutely bad. There is ease in difficulty. As a consequence, we conclude: badness is goodness to the good ability people, or shorter, the bad is the good.

Welcome, taoist11.

Are you really saying that bad is good? Or are you saying that good and bad depend on each other - that there cannot be one concept without the other? It seems to me that if bad is good, then I might as well take some crystal meth and start robbing some old ladies. But if I recognize them as intricately related, I have a basis for pursuing an understanding and realization of interdependence and nonduality. Good and bad are concepts. Opposite conceptions depend on each other for their existence. But the attitudes and behavior they point to are exclusive - if I adopt one attitude, I have not adopted other attitudes. If I help an old lady across the street, I have not stolen her purse. Is there some need to think I have done something good for an old lady if I help her across the street? Not at all - it’s just what might be called for in the moment that the situation arises.

I’ve heard it said that virtue is in league with nonduality, whereas nonvirtue is in league with duality. In other words, the path of selfishness leads away from the realization of nonduality, whereas the path of overcoming self fixation (which appears, at least superficially, to have a lot in common with most moral codes) leads towards the realization of nonduality. So the understanding you hint at is arrived at most easily from treading the latter path. Of course, a full realization of nonduality may not depend on a path at all - but that strikes me as a very rare occurrance.

Reminded me of this story:

Great story!

A bad motorcycle is hard to be or never can be stolen. Thus, badness is goodness.
Of course badness is goodness in this situation. But is it correct to refer to the problematic motorcycle as just badness because it is not in good condition. What is badness?

There is no badness or goodness. There is law and there is morals (the ground for morals being that which mostly comes from different religions). There can be laws which are morally wrong, and one can act morally in a particular situation but still break the law. Goodness and badness merely exsist for structure to exsist in the world.

Hi anon,
If you help an old lady across the street, then you are good (healthy), and she is bad (not healthy). Virtue is not in league with nonduality, but it takes time to ponder, to think deeply and to meditate (zen). Zen is the method to find out you are Tao, or you are very similar Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, or Buddha (as the two philosophy are very close). Step by step, I’ll post all, and you will find virtue and nonvirtue are nothingness. Thank you for your post.

A girl friend of mine, in the age of 30s, cute, having many friends, learnt management in a part time university. She failed a subject. The teacher made an appointment to have a coffee with her and promised to help her. While having the coffee, his leg kicked her legs under the table. She thought he wanted sex. She got tetchy because she is married. Then she made another appointment to have a coffee, and she blamed him. Being disappointed for the university, for the educational environment, she left school. What she had learnt, and money paid to school were wasted.

I heard that and I am not surprised. She is cute and she attracts men naturally. Failing an exam is a chance for others to help and to show their love. Her fault was she hoped much in universities, only thought that they were good. The right way is to think that there is badness in goodness. Being cute is being guilty but she didn’t know and she took for granted that she was normal. Being lovely is the cause of calamities for themselves and for others.

Strength is also weakness. If you sing well, I invite you sing karaoke, you like me. If you like me, I may take advantage of you. Being a king of one hundred battles, win one hundred is a catastrophe. Chinese ancient literature tells us : Once Nguy Van Hau, a king, as Ly Khac, his official:”What is the cause for the Ngo state to be perished ?” Ly Khac answered immediately:”One hundred battles, win one hundred.” Nguy Van Hau was confused. Ly Khac explained:”One hundred battles, people become exhausted. Winning one hundred times, the king become arrogant. An arrogant king rules exhausted people, surely fail.” The strong changes into the weak. In Europe in Napoleon time, when Europe was not united, some countries were still in French side, Napoleon was the champion, was the European Emperor. But, after that Europeans recognized that they could not think of the Napoleon without making wars, therefore they united and they were against France, so Napoleon failed. He failed because he had won many times gloriously and he was so warlike. Even he was a genius, still he failed. According to Sun Tzu, The Art of War, what is strong is weak. In one battle, if the enemy is strong in the front, they are weak in the back. If they are strong in the back, they are weak in the front. If they are strong in the front and the back, they are weak in the two sides. If they are strong in the two sides, they are weak in the front and the back. If they are strong four sides, because they stretch in four sides, then they are weak in four sides. The strong is the weak and to win is to lose.

Hi taoist11. I agree that both virtue and nonvirtue are empty. But emptiness is functional. If this were not the case there could be no path leading to realization. You have asserted that there is a path leading to realization (“…it takes time to ponder, to think deeply and to meditate…”). This path is empty, yet functional. It is functional because it is empty - it is empty because it is functional. To the extent that one overcomes self-fixation, to that extent one realizes nonduality. To practice virtue is, to some degree, to practice nonduality. I think you are mistaken when you claim that virtue is not in league with nonduality. If not, further explanation of your position would be helpful.



Hi anon,
Yes, virtue here I mean virtue of Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, enlightened daoists. To normal people, or in duality, if they are virtuous, I smile and know that they have difficulties someday, or they become better, but I’m not sure. Their lives go a zig zag way. However, they are ignorant which mean they always want to be advanced. Gradually, I’ll post my whole doctrine and you’ll understand all. Talking about yin and yang is just the lowest degree in Taoism.

I still have several real stories to serve you readers to prove that goodness is badness. The character in the two following stories is the founder of Confucianism, “great” Confucius.

  1. Lo Dinh Cong (King of Lo state in ancient China) let Confucius rule a city. A year later, all states considered it a model. From an official ruling a city, Confucius promoted to the chair managing construction, then promoted to the position managing law.
    In the year 500 BC , Lo state made peace with Te state. In the summer, an official of Te was Le Su told Te Canh Cong, the king of Te state:
  • Lo uses Confucius; this is harmful to Te.

Confucius worked in the highest official (like prime minister nowaday). He killed another official, Thieu Chinh Mao, who made state affairs bad. Three months later, sheep sellers, pig sellers didn’t dare to overprice; men and women went in two different ways; people did not pick objects that somebody had dropped. Visitors in all states did not need to ask for officials’ help because people considered them as folks.
Te people heard that, they feared Confucius and said:

  • Confucius ruled the state affairs this way will be the hegemony anyway. If Lo is the hegomony, our state will be invaded. Why don’t we offer them some areas of land ?

Le Su said:

  • First, find out the way to block him. If it doesn’t work, we’ll offer some areas. It wont be late.

Te King ordered to pick eighty beautiful girls, wearing beautiful clothes, practising to dance and he picked thirty packs of horses, each pack had four very beautiful horses. Te King ordered the girls and beautiful horses to move to the south gate of Lo’s capital. Quy Hoan Tu wore ordinary person’s clothes and visited two, three times. He wanted to get those and told Lo King to go around to see. Lo King visited there all day. Lo King did not take part in the state affairs. Tu Lo, Confucius’ disciple said:

  • You should leave.
    Confucius said:
  • Lo King is going to do the service. If the King brings meat in the service to the officials, I may stay.

Lastly, Quy Hoan Tu got the girls of Te, and in three days, he did not take part in state affairs. When doing the service, he did not bring meat to officials. Confucius left Lo state.

Goodness of Confucius is the badness to Te state. Te state considered Confucius the enemy, trying all the way to strike him off.

  1. The king of So state wanted to nominate Confucius to be the ruler of an area of land which had 700 ly (a ly was a group of 25 families). The head of officials of So was Tu Tay asked:
  • Among your messengers you send to other states, is there anyone as good as Tu Cong ?
  • No
  • Among people helping you, is there anyone as good as Nhan Hoi ?
  • No.
  • Among your generals, is there anyone as good as Tu Lo ?
  • No.
  • Among your officials, is there anyone as good as Te Du ?
  • No
  • Not only that, ancestors of So state was appointed only the title “viscount” and fifty miles of land (meaning So state had been small and had only been viscount, but at the moment, was a powerful state). Now Confucius follows The Three King’s laws. If we use him, how can So has thousands of miles of land forever? Van Vuong in Phong land, Vu Vuong in Cao Land were only kings having hundred miles of land, but lastly, they became emperors. Now, Confucius has a piece of land to make a base, and he has good disciples (Tu Cong, Nhan Hoi, Tu Lo, Te Du) to help. That is not blessing of So.

Chieu Vuong King stopped.

Confucius always fell into disfavour, because if he had had a small state, he would have ruled that state well. Other states would have followed him. Kings of big states, ambitious to be hegemony – who king doesn’t want himself to be “great” – so those kings would have been overturned. Confucius was so dangerous. Good conduct is dangerous and evil

I agree completely with this assessment. Nonetheless, absence of self-fixation is nonduality. Therefore, the practice of virtue (generosity, for instance) is the practice of nonduality. In Buddhism, to bring the practice of generosity to perfection is to understand that there is “no giver, no receiver, and no gift” - it is to practice without fixations of any sort. As enlightenment is not owned by Buddhists, I believe this must be the correct view for a Daoist or Christian or anyone at all, as well. Of course, I’m not enlightened myself, so it is simply my belief. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your own beliefs.

The bad is yin and the good is yang. In general, what are negative are yin and what are positive are yang. Badness, weakness, back, softness, shadow, women, shame, failure … are yin. Goodness, front, hardness, light, men, glory, victory, … are yang. One law of Taoism is “yin is yang and yang is yin.”
The second law is nothing, nobody, no phenomenon is out of yin and yang. Everybody, everything, every phenomenon is the struggle and unity of opposite sides, i.e, yin and yang. In a body, if assimilation is positive or yang, then that body also has catabolism, which is negative, or yin. Digestion is yang and excretion is yin. In a vehicle, there are moving parts are yang and standing still parts are yin; hard parts are yang and soft parts like tires are yin. Lastly, everything is made of atoms. In an atom, the nuclear is motionless is yin and electrons moving very fast are yang. Yin and yang struggle with each other and unite with each other and produce everything, everyone, every phenomenon.
What creates yin and yang ? That is oneness. What is oneness? Oneness is a familiar cencept in Eastern philosophy. Goodness always goes with badness, consequently, goodness and badness are oneness, like two sides of a note. Similarly, the front and the back are oneness; the inner and the outer are oneness; blessing and disasters are oneness; glory and shame are oneness; etc. In general yin and yang are oneness. All are oneness; nothing is out of oneness. Oneness is the universal truth, or Tao (Dao). To be enlightened in Daoism is to see oneness. Oneness is the united of everything. Since two elements of oneness, yin and yang, are not clear, as there is yin in yang and there is yang in yin, oneness is chaotic, not clear. In conclusion, Dao is the unity of yin and yang. Yin and yang are two sides of Dao. Dao differentiates into yin and yang.
How is Dao like ? Chuang Tzu writes:” For Tao has its inner reality and its evidences. It is devoid of action and of form. It may be transmitted, but cannot be received; It may be obtained, but cannot be seen. It is based in itself, rooted in itself. Before heaven and earth were, Tao existed by itself from all time. It gave the spirits and rulers their spiritual powers, and gave Heaven and Earth their birth. To Tao, the zenith is not high, nor the nadir low; no point in time is long ago, nor by the lapse of ages has it grown old. “ (Quoted from Chuang Tzu by Lin Yutang).

That’s because there hasn’t been any desperate enough to steal it, or assume it’s just not working, which is very practical and not morally nor ethically good as you imply.

Ofcause if we have evil behaviour described, the cause and how to react and respond to evil.

A good example, back in the days catholic schools would raise chrildren with only “good” values, and blatanly remove any everyday “evil” from the teachings, which only resulted in utterly naive, simpleminded children who got fooled, cheated and exploited when they went out to society.

What the heck has this to do with anything?

Eh? So when your family is gunned down by some psycotic dude, you’ll thank him for doing good? You would also thank Hitler for trying to tear the world apart?


We can easily achive good deeds without evil, just that we are intelligent enough about it.

This explains excatly …nothing. It’s more msileading and bewildering than informative.

I can agree that celebs are often condierd “everybodys-property-thus-can-be-exploited-as-seen-fit”, but the following lawsuit anology seems contradictriary to your first claim.

Yearh, that’s what poor skilled leaders usually do, by wagting a good war to divert attention away from the delapitated country. Unfortunaly there are extremely many who are ruled by emotion and will fall for this cheap trick.

That is a great “heel” of democrasy.

However, the motorcycle is good, the owner is good, too as he owns assets and the thief is bad.

Ofcause if we have evil behaviour described, the cause and how to react and respond to evil.

A good example, back in the days catholic schools would raise chrildren with only “good” values, and blatanly remove any everyday “evil” from the teachings, which only resulted in utterly naive, simpleminded children who got fooled, cheated and exploited when they went out to society.

What the heck has this to do with anything?

Ha ha, funny! But for Hitler, I would enlighten him. If he did not follow, I would punish him, as I am not goodness, or a Saint, but I punish him in a humane way, not to feel hatred for him.


We can easily achive good deeds without evil, just that we are intelligent enough about it.

This explains excatly …nothing. It’s more msileading and bewildering than informative.

Hm, do you see anything, anyone who is always bad, or a Hell in this earthly world? Goodness or badness is relative, so in goodness we find badness & conversely.

Yearh, that’s what poor skilled leaders usually do, by wagting a good war to divert attention away from the delapitated country. Unfortunaly there are extremely many who are ruled by emotion and will fall for this cheap trick.

That is a great “heel” of democrasy.

Dao is based in itself, rooted in itself therefore Tao is the cause of itself, not anything else is the cause of it. Taoism is a philosophy which is different from other religions, having the view point that the universe, all things, living beings are born by God. Tao is the chaos of wills and things having no wills, like stones. If we say that living beings are born by minerals and compounds, that is we use the low to explain the high. Thus, in the beginning, there were germs of living in Tao. Similarly, in the beginning, in Tao, there was consciousness in a jumble with things having no consciousness. And this exists before us, before heaven and earth, as a consequence Dao is transcendental. Dao has no beginning, no end and always exists, i.e, Dao is everywhere, Dao is everything, Dao is everytime. Dao is oneness, just one. Although one, but it is also the most because things and phenomenons, although abounding, can’t not go out of Dao. Dao is a reluctant name since Dao has no form. Speaking and writing must have some form, i.e, some sound, some words. Existing in a form, speaking and writing are limited, cannot express the thing having no beginning, no end, no form, limitless, the most precise but also the greatest. Consequently, even trying the best to say, to write or any way, we cannot express Dao.

As Dao is marvellous, and hard to point it out, Lao Tzu used the concept non-being (non-existence, nothingness) to express Dao. He wrote:”Everything is born by existence; existence is born by non-existence.” Existence and non-existence are two sides of Dao. But to persons not enlightened, they only see being. Enlightened persons see both being and non-being. Seeing non-being, enlightened persons are very different, different revolutionarily in compare with non-enlightened persons, even geniuses.

It seems very abstract and not realistic. But Dao is real and nothingness is real. You ask all Buddhists, they all say all things, houses, vehicles, cities, villages, … are nothingness. Is there anything existing for ever ? No. Anything which exists, anything having a form, or wills, thoughts, sentiments all turn nothingness. But this material world always exists, doesn’t disappear, so this world also comes from nothingness. And nothingness doesn’t mean nothing. Remember this: nothingness is not nothing. I have met some Westerners; they are confused nothingness with nothing. With nothing, you cannot have being. This nothingness is like water, having no form but also having every form. Nothingness is also the condition of existence, i.e. there is nothingness, there is being and vice versa, there is being, there is nonbeing. Being and non-being are like two sides of a piece of paper. Buddhism says very similarly: being is non-being; non-being is being.

Everybody is nothingness. You live, breathe, work, love, give births, that is you are existence. This this existence has no characteristics, or not yin nor yang, or nothingness. If we say you are goodness, then you grant this goodness to others time after time, you become a saint. Hm, even Confucius, when living, people respected him deeply and called him a saint, real saint, he was still harmful, or say it another words, a saint is an enemy. What if I say you are bad ? So, you are left far apart, are put into prison and everybody hates you ? No, also. Then how you are like ? We must conclude that you are not good nor bad, or you have no characteristic, or nothingness. This time, you are good: you work, providing products or services to the society. But that time, you are bad since you get ill, or you have an accident, or you make mistakes. You may try; you work hard, learn hard, divide your work into small pieces, complete each piece, then complete the whole work to be successful. By this way, you see life is a sequence of decisions to be done and you did well and become successful. This makes you think that life is being. There is no nothingness. Nothingness is to deceiving. But many did like you and failed. Reading history of any race, you will see that there were heroes who failed. Gifted, moral persons but they were unsuccessful the whole life. And sometimes, we see a minister, a prime minister, or a billionaire fail. They have money, power, strong wills to success, they have everything, but still they fail. Just follow this principle: this world is nothingness, you see when they have conditions, and wills, they are successful but sometimes they fail. Life has no direction, because it is the chaotic mixture of yin and yang, is Dao, not just yang, not just good for people to win yang values, i.e. always good, always successful. Since human race had history up to now, we haven’t had a golden era.

taoist11 you are very incoherent in your arguments, you use extremely poor examples to describe very simple things that doesn’t relate much in the principle described, it’s ok if the metaphor/anology is non-relating.

Your idea of how the world are connected are simply distorted, like you see things through a calendescope …you might see it beautifully …but sounds like nonsens.

I hope you are very young, then it would excuse you for having these very simplistic views.

Hi HexHammer,
Did you read other Taoists, such as Lao Tzu, CHuang Tzu, and Buddha? And more, modern gurus like J.Krishnamurti, Osho? I think you don’t like them, therefore you find me “incoherent”, “distorted”, then Taoism is not for you. Not to despise you, but my mother, siblings, & closest friend don’t understand Taoism, understand me. In my home town, only 5 people understand Taoism. Most of my friends don’t understand me, & I don’t believe I can discuss oneness to them.
Now we turn to Taoism:
Chinese famous writer Lin Yutang tells a story in his book The Importance of Living to prove that this life is never perfect, always has badness: “ A man was imprisoned in Hell. He was going to be reincarnated, so he asked Pluto:”As Your Grace want me to come back to life, please let me ask for some conditions.” Pluto asked:”What conditions?” The man answered:”Let me be the son of a king’s first minister, be the father of a first-rank doctorate; let me live in a house in the middle of ten thousand hectare land, which has a pond with fish and all kinds of fruids; let me have a very beautiful wife and many charming concubines, and all are dutiful to please me; let me have valueables full of the room, rice full of the store, money full of the trunk and I am a high official, living an eminent, rich, honourable, one hundred year life.” Pluto answered:”If life had such a person, I would reincarnate to replace you !”.

Every era, every society, everyone, all are chaos of the good and the bad, not the good only or the bad only, i.e, no inner nature, or nothingness. In other theories, they say that human race developS: from living wildly in caves, now we are civilized, we live in comfortable houses. But I don’t know if our inventions are developed, or profitable, or good. For instance, internet is a great invention, but good information leads to “good” adultery as they date more easily. Net causes cheating, stealing passwords, stealing account, i.e. stealing money. Not only those but also there are viruses, corrupted websites, websites teaching people to suicide, teaching how to make bombs and terrorists, via net, collect money, recruit new terrorists, and train well, etc. Internet is also harmful, not only good. Not good nor bad, internet is nothingness. Another advancement is artificial satellite is the same. To produce them successfully, human race spent great labour, spent great deal of money, time, grey matter, i.e, artificial satellites are harmful. Then, in using, American satellite espionage China, consequently, to China, American satellites are harmful. Satellites are also harmful to other countries. “Advancement” that way is nothingness, not goodness. To invent the good is to invent the bad.

Everything is the chaos, or nothingness, also space and time. From Mars, look at the Earth, where is back and where is front ? Where is high and where is low? Then we see that the high is the low and the low is the high and the back is the front and the front is the back, or yin is yang and conversely. Space with three dimensions just exists in Newton physics. In Albert Einstein physics, space is different. We know that light beams always goes the straight way. But light beams which from stars go to the earth near the sun, we see that light beam are bent. Einstein explained it is because space is bent. Space with three dimensions we see are not real. Time, one dimension from past to future, too, is not real. To enlightened persons in Taoism and Buddhism, they don’t see time and space inside them though they live in space and time. For them, time and space disappear. Therefore, they “forget” everything, even the past, even the most dramatic, sublime, hateful events. To Daoists, all are chaotic, all are nothingness.

@ taoist11, you should realize what you speak of is the grounds for terrible dictatorial regimes, with torture and mass murder, it’s the worst form of communism with plane economy …which in the end fails utterly like all commie regimes before and after.

To study silly books is bad, to study silly books and realife is better.

You should read up on psycology, with psycosis and skitzophrenia …and all what psycology has to offer, then you might understand more of life, than what your Tao books has to offer.

Sorry, but is there any basis for this? I’m not aware of any communist regimes based on Taoism. China actively suppressed it for a long time. Are there any significant Taoist books on economics?