Written By Basilio Chen

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Chapter 1 prepares you for the seek for wisdom and true knowledge rather than just ordinary knowledge.

I am using quotations from Lao-Tzu: “My words are very easy to understand” by Man-jan Cheng.

The Tao Teh Ching or Dao De Jing (simplified Chinese: 道德经; traditional Chinese: 道德經; pinyin: Dàodéjīng) is easy to understand but not to decipher.  Below are transmission I received from my Master.

Chapter 1: “The Tao that can be said (described)  is not the everlasting Tao.  A name that can be named is not the everlasting Name.

The word Tao (Dao or 道) means path or road.  It also implies a destination like Nirvana or a state of enlightenment.

This Chapter 1 phrase above says, that there is a true tao but it may not be the one most people are talking about and telling you. Neither is the one where a name is given.  Beware of the ordinary Tao that others say they know and you decide to follow and learn from them.  (Beware of ordinary knowledge).

This beginning statement is very important because if you start with the wrong knowledge it will take years or decades or a lifetime to undo your thinking.  If you have the wrong knowledge, is like getting into the wrong path or road, you will likely end up in the wrong place.  Start by seeking the right knowledge and the knowledge that can lead you to the right path (Tao).

Also, anything you say can be misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Another way of summarizing the above is: “Beware of inferior and ordinary knowledge”, “You cannot describe the real Dao”. (ie you have to experience it, you have to internalize it.  When you have it you will know).

“That which has no name is the origin of heaven and earth”.

Here the author is using the words no-name to mean the true Tao (which you cannot describe and give a name).  So you read it as “That which is the Real Dao is the origin of heaven and earth.  (This implies ENERGY).

That which has a name is the Mother of all things”. So this is understood as the things that can be described and given a name and you can see (MATTER), is the origin of things.

The following is a cryptic paragraph which if you understand how it is arrived you can encrypt much of the book (provided you have been trained in an internal martial art like Taiji – Tai Chi).

Thus, if always without desire, one can observe indescribable marvels; (take not of the words INDESCRIBABLE MARVELS for later reference).

“If always desirous, one sees merest traces.”

Indescribable Marvels = cannot be described = cannot be said = Tao (ie. you can see the Dao and its manifestation, if you are always without desires).  But if you always have desires you only see the surface not the real thing.  (without desires and training you can see beyond what is in front of you, the real thing).

“Those two come from the same source but are differently named.” (“ENERGY and MATTER” come from the same origin but are name differently and have different functions but come from the same place – Taiji which comes from the state of Nothingness).

“Both are called Mysterious”.

“The mystery of the Mysterious is the gateway to all indescribable marvels.

The interpretation is that BOTH (what the “No name” and the “name” that leads to Tao and Traces are called MYSTERIOUS).  The word MYSTERIOUS is not used in the context of saying what it is but a name by itself.  It is not trying to say that both are mysterious but is saying that Both are called by MYSTERIOUS.  So next time you see MYSTERIOUS you replace it for BOTH. To be used in the next sentence.

“The mystery of the Mysterious is the gateway to all describable marvels”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there you have it Chapter 1 has given you the secret to what is needed to find the Dao.

The mystery of the Mysterious.  ie the mystery and riddle of the Mysterious (who is the Mysterious?).

This is the sentence structure:

…the <X> is the gateway to <Y>.

INDESCRIBABLE MARVELS from above we said was Dao (Y) and the mystery of <X> is…?

The mystery (the secret) to <Dao> is…?


By understanding what is said in the above Chapter 1, the seeker is told that the secret to obtaining wisdom and superior knowledge (true knowledge and not ordinary knowledge) begins in understanding that the Mind must be developed, nurture, prepared and protected above all!