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Daily reading: 16.1 (TTC 1: The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao)

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  • Daily reading: 16.1 (TTC 1: The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao)

    Chapter 1: http://www.taoism.net/ttc/complete.htm, see also: http://www.earlywomenmasters.net/tao/ch_01.html

    The Yi Jing commented:

    The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao -> 16.1 > 51

    The formation
    16 - Youth
    Youth can be mobilized. It is a period of indecision which will be emerged through involvement.


    1 - When one starts by showing their confidence they come back with embarrassment.

    In the making
    51 - Shock
    Something is coming which enables the identification of a problem.


    My interpretation:

    This reading is very clear. We can naturally seek more insight by asking follow-up questions.

    Who/what can be mobilized? (16)

    Who/what can be mobilized? -> 32.2 > 62

    The formation
    32 - Perseverance
    One must be careful before committing themself, after they must continue.


    2 - One must repair because they lack of means.

    This is an open answer, follow-up questions will clarify it.

    In the making
    62 - Exit
    One checks before going out.

    Repair what? (32.2)

    Repair what? -> 56.3 > 35

    The formation
    56 - Search
    One restores order to find.


    3 - One forgets someone close thus loses them.

    We have forgotten, and lost, the Tao.

    In the making
    35 - Discovery
    Answers come naturally.


    What means are needed? (32.2)

    What means are needed? -> 11.1 > 46

    The formation
    11 - Duty
    Organize, prepare one's work.


    1 - Preparation will bring success.

    We need preparation to find it back.

    In the making
    46 - Formation
    One is guided until they reach knowledge.


    What is coming? (51)

    What is coming? -> 28.2 > 31

    The formation
    28 - Abandonment
    One goes on their own if necessary. Stick to the essential.


    2 - When one runs into difficulties, they welcome the weakest to preserve their future.

    Again, this is an open answer. We can elaborate after asking more questions.

    In the making
    31 - Impulse
    When one helps others, they come.

    What are the difficulties? (28.2)

    What are the difficulties? -> 1.1.2.5.6 > 62

    The formation
    1 - Evolution
    Changing to obtain quality work.


    1 - One is still too weak to act.
    2 - One has a strong potential and learns.
    5 - One has understood the needs of the times.
    6 - One is getting into bothers.

    It is difficult to grasp the meaning of the Tao Te Ching.

    In the making
    62 - Exit
    One checks before going out.


    Who/what are the weakest? (28.2)

    Who/what are the weakest? -> 22.1.3.6 > 2

    The formation
    22 - Reservation
    One shall not move too hastily.


    1 - One is trusted to succeed without help.
    3 - One does not want to finish too fast.
    6 - One hides their difficulties to help the weakest and let the most able continue without help.

    A line by line approach.

    In the making
    2 - Obedience
    Being able to provide assistance, without taking decisions.


    What is the problem that can be identified? (51)

    What is the problem that can be identified? -> 19.1.2.4 > 16

    The formation
    19 - To accompany
    One calls the youngest so they return.


    1 - One departs before others stop.
    2 - One can see that it is unstable so they ask for help.
    4 - When one has recognized their weaknesses, they correct them.

    The first line is clearly about abandoning the study before the end. The second line about consulting the I Ching and the fourth line about clearing our misunderstandings.

    In the making
    16 - Youth
    Youth can be mobilized. It is a period of indecision which will be emerged through involvement.


    Conclusion:

    My intent was to consult about the chapter 6, then the reading was 20.3 (One wants to learn), so it inspired me to study the Tao Te Ching, line by line from the start instead.

    16.1: When one starts by showing their confidence they come back with embarrassment. is a very clear explanation of the first line of the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching. The hexagram 16 is about making preparations to retrieve the Tao, and the hexagram 51 about how to solve the problem of studying the Tao Te Ching by consulting the I Ching line by line. Commenting the Tao Te Ching line by line has already be done, in particular on this site.

    As you can see, the line comment was about the text of the Tao Te Ching, and the follow-up questions gave us insight about the method that we are employing to study the TTC. You may wonder what would have happened if I had consulted further the I Ching about 16.1, for example by asking "Confidence about what?". There is a balance to find between preconceived ideas which can limit the understanding and open-mindness that can embark us into very difficult readings. Since the line is clearly understood, it does not appear necessary to ask further. However, asking this follow-up question is not necessarily provocative and can open the way to more insight, so feel free to do so if you really want to.
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