- “Enter the ultimate Emptiness.
Hold on to the truest Peace.”
-The Book Of The Way And Its Power, CH.16
“Enter the Cipher.”
Clarence 13X, founder of the 5% Nation Of Islam
Shakespeare posited the question: To be or not to be? From a Taoist point of view, not being is considered superior, ultimately. This applies to the concept of “not having”, as well, in the universal, grand scheme of things.
We as human beings can think of many things we would like to be or have but, in Taoist teaching, there’s a reverse valuing that takes place compared to what seems most advantageous at first thought. Being and having are still valued in their proper times and places, though. But the supreme condition for us as people is based on “Emptiness” & “Nonbeing”, according to some of the most respected scholars of Tao, which is also known as the “Way” or “Path”.
” …what is empty can be utilized because it’s able to hold and receive all things. Thus, it is that emptiness and nothingness can fashion what has form. Tao means what is empty,” – Ho Shang Kung, one of the two most respected commentators in history on Tao’s “The Book Of The Way And Its Power”, also known as the Lao Tzu or Tao Te Ching.
Emptiness is also a positive concept in Taoism; when one embodies “The Way” , one achieves emptiness, then. This is according to Wang Pi, the other most wideLy respected commentator in Taoist history. To paraphrase him, “Though the Sovereign are great, they take emptiness as their discipline to master.” The Universe is said to have been originally empty before the creation of heaven and earth. By practicing the “discipline of Emptiness” we become closer to being “One” with UniversaL law, Tao Teaches. IsLam caLLs the making of Oneness Tawheed. Tao teaches, too, a thing’s advantage is in its “being” or what it actually is, and a thing’s “utility” or “use” is based on its nonbeing. The Book Of The Way And Its Power says that the way of heaven is like a room or a vessel, its emptiness is what gives it its function (paraphrased).
Closing note on the “Empty set” in mathematics
Encyclopedists tell us that without zero (the empty set) the higher calculating sciences would be unthinkable; sciences like Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics. Can it be in our quest to take emptiness as our discipline to master that we will be utilized in that quest in the same way zero is used in the numerical decimal system for higher calculation? In this quest, according to Taoist teaching, taking on the way of emptiness (Wu/Hsu) is fundamental.
-Yu Muhammad Zhivago