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De as the Manifestation of the Dao

In Lao Zi's mind, both the Dao and De exist and function everywhere. Generally speaking, one is invisible while the other is observable. The interaction between the two can be likened to that between Being-without-form (wu) and Being-within-form (you). As a matter of fact, De is seen as the manifestation or concretization of the Dao. That is why they are analogically said to be the two sides of one coin. The transformation from the Dao into De is highly necessary, for it (the Dao) would be otherwise a disembodied idea and possibly lose its existential rationale. The qualities of De actually embody the potentiality or potency of the Dao itself.

6 From the Dao into De

Both the Dao and De have a variety of interpretations, which are presented in pairs. They include, for example, the Way and its Power, the Way and its Potency, the Way and the Walk on the Way, the all-embracing first principle for all things and the principle underlying each individual thing, the omni-determinant of all beings and its manifestation, etc. No matter what they may be, there is an interaction between them and a transformation from one into the other. This topic is explored with particular reference to chapters 51 and 38 (DDJ).

6.1 (Chapter 51)
The Dao begets all beings, And De fosters them.[1]
Substance gives them physical forms, And the environment completes them.[2]
Therefore all beings venerate the Dao and honor De.
As for the veneration of the Dao and the honoring of De,
It is not out of obedience to any orders;
It comes spontaneously due to their naturalness.[3]
Hence the Dao begets all beings,
And De fosters them, rears them and develops them,
Matures them and makes them bear fruit,
Protects them and helps them breed.
To produce them without taking possession of them,
To raise them without vaunting this as its own merit,
And to nourish them without controlling them,
This is called Profound De.[4]

[1] This marks out the respective sphere of the Dao and De in view of the origin and becoming of all things.
[2] "Environment" is a translation of the Chinese word shi, and connotes chiefly living, geographical, regional and climatic conditions. It is also interpreted as the natural force derived from the change of the seasons (according to Heshang Gong), the potential power underlying each individual thing, or the dynamic state lying in opposites like Yin and Yang and their interaction in all beings.
[3] This implies that everything develops naturally and becomes what it is without being imposed by any external force. The Dao and De are there to help them in the way of doing nothing, or to just let them be what they can be.
[4] The lines (which start with "To produce them without taking possession of them...") were misplaced in Chapter 10 in some versions of the Dao De Jing. The original term xuan de is rendered as "Profound De" suggesting the depth, profundity, selflessness and transcendence of De as such. It in fact exhibits the function and potency of the Dao.

Lao Zi maintains consistently that the Dao is the origin of all things with regard to their coming into being and development. This helps to round out Lao Zi's notion that the Dao came into being first of all, and accordingly features a sharp contrast with the Christian culture which is grounded on the personification of God as the Creator of the universe.
This chapter reconfirms Lao Zi's idea that the Dao begets all beings alike without being observed since it works in the way of "taking-no-action." Then De as its potency and manifestation

Here again approach of no-action/no-form can by related with first form of any Tai Chi Chuan taolu: "Wuji" which means literally without form" or in Dachengquan the "Zhan Zhuang" post (pile standing), to seek "concretization of his "Kongfu"



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