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TTC Chapter 11


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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.

 

Any thoughts?

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The key is in the last line, Laozi indicates that humans do not seem to understand when things are useful, or what makes things useful.  In other words humans only comprehend partially.  They see the form but not the space inside.  They see obvious things, but miss the subtleties.   

He is pointing to an error or ignorance in the way the human intelligence is functioning, an error that becomes corrected through spiritual practice.

A clay jug may indeed have a useful space inside.  But if you pour water into that space without the jug ... then it won't work.  Clearly both the jug and the space within work together to create usefulness, both male and female must work together.   It is not literally true that the centre of wheel makes it useful because there is no centre without the spokes ... but Laozi's intention is to highlight to people the subtle things that they miss when they only see what is outside.

Society if you listen to its commentary on the media is very much concerned with the visible outer things and the minds of people are pointed outside like a lighthouse shining out. 

It is not very good at looking within and so is extremely unbalanced.

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14 hours ago, Tom said:

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.

 

Any thoughts?

Everything is dependent on each other, regardless of humans ideas about what is useful or beneficial. Everything within the whole creation forms creation. How useful or beneficial it is viewed as, is really only, where one is looking and noticing, through the creation they are within the whole dynamic,  of themselves, one with  the outer creation. 

Edited by Clarity
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23 hours ago, Tom said:

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.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

The Dao is emptiness. Emptiness is infinite potential and is the true nature of all things.

Quote

It is the space within that makes it useful. 
Cut doors and windows for a room; 
It is the holes which make it useful.

 

It is the emptiness and what arises from it that makes things useful.

 

Quote

Therefore benefit comes from what is there; 
Usefulness from what is not there.

 

Another way of looking at it is with the realization of the Dao/emptiness one can use it to create.... infinite potential.

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Here is Jeff's take:

 

Quote

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.

 

 

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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