Sunday, November 14, 2010
Tao Te Ching Chapter 56-4 Be dull
Dull the sharpness. (Ch.56)
You don't have to be sharp.
"Thank you, Master Lao Tzu!"
"What a relief!"
Lao Tzu thinks that being dull is far better than being sharp.
From now on, you don't have to be either sharp, cutting-edge, nor incisive.
When someone calls us dull, let's thank the person.
We do not have to impress others any more although we have a hidden wish to do so.
Every time the desire to be better than others surfaces in our mind, let's ask ourselves:
"Who are others?".
The others are us.
Don't be sharp.
-Don't say 56-1
-One who says 56-2
-Block the openings 56-3
-Be dull 56-4
-Soft light 56-6
-Kanshiketsu / Like dust 56-7
-One with Dark Depth 56-8
-Closer to Tao 56-9
-Staying away? 56-10
-Ennoble it? 56-13
-Debase it? 56-14
-Tao by Matsumoto / Tao Te Ching / Chapter 56
-In Chapter 4 / Tao's function, you can find the identical sentences: "Dull the sharpness. Untangle the entanglements. Soften the light. Be like dust".
Tao answers your question!
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☞If you know "Tanuki", you will never be fooled by the myth of Japanese efficiency. Ask some of your friends who have studied or worked in Japan. They can tell you some anecdotes that will change your biased idea about the nation's productivity.
Tanuki is often translated as raccoon dogs. I don't know if raccoon dogs in the American continent enjoy the same status concerning their virility and laziness as their Japanese counterpart. Studio Ghibli's «Pom Poko» portrays these aspects precisely and is highly recommended if you are expecting a business meeting with seemingly machine-like colleagues or clients from Far East.
If you are the one who has to fly to the country of the rising sun, the ability to use the word "Tanuki" will save you some rising yens. Tanuki soba buckwheat noodles are one of the cheapest dishes widely available in the land of Sushi, which is not exactly a Japanese equivalent to a hamburger in terms of price. You can order a Tanuki soba at any noodle joint in a major railway station along with a Kitsune, which is the Japanese name of the fox.
Whether you order a Tanuki or a Kitsune, the noodles in the bowl are the same. The difference is the toppings. While you get a piece of Abura-age (fried Tofu) marinated with slightly sweetened soy sauce when you ask for a Kitsune, you get a heap of crispy bits of fried flour-dough if you cry "Tanuki" at the bar. Surely, you have a choice between soba and udon, which is a Japanese answer to fettucini, although most Japanese believe that the combinations of Tanuki-soba and Kitsune-udon are better than otherwise.
Thanks to Maruchan Corp., now you can enjoy Tanuki soba outside Japan. «Midori no Tanuki 緑のたぬき / Green Tanuki» is as highly recommended as the film «Pom Poko». It tastes surprisingly good, considering that it is just 3-minute instant noodles.