Tao Te Ching Day 61: Fucking Names

What limitations I place on Tao are the same limitations I place on my existence. To name anything is to lose the essence of the thing.

“The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” Chap. 1

Right from the start, we are warned not to name this eternal power. We are given explicit instructions that to name it is to lose it.

Yet, I name. I name. I name. I name. Dammit, I limit all that could be by my fear of the unknown.

My fear of the mystery leaves me caught up in the known reality of my little life.

“What do you do,” someone asks?

“Oh, I am a writer,” I reply.

“Awesome, what do you write?” They say.

“I write about spirituality and also fantasy.”

“Whoa, that’s cool.” They kindly respond.

Then I sit there wondering, is that me? Is that all I am, someone who simply writes about spirituality? Someone who only writes about magic or fantasy?

And I hate myself for it because I know I have taken the Tao’s name in vain. Can you see it?

I am a writer, is blasphemy to what I really am, to what Tao really is.

I am the unnamable.

You may be thinking, “take it easy, Matt, it’s not that big of a deal.”

Nay, I say to you. Nay, like a horse in the house.

As soon as I speak this little story of what the nameless is, it becomes named and therefore fixed. Being fixed, it will only manifest itself in this way, the way I chose to bring its nameless name to life.

Why is that important? Why is it important? Why?!!!

Because what if the desires of my heart are not in line with the reality I am naming? Meaning, what if I say I am a writer, but the Tao is trying to bring something else through me, something more?

Why do I continue to limit infinity in this way? The Tao is flowing towards perfection constantly, yet here I am telling everyone which way my Tao is supposed to flow as if I somehow know or can even direct its flow. I feel myself swimming against the current when I name.

I believe this is at the heart of my addiction for more. I name something I want, and knowing I have just limited myself, I scrape and scream for every drop of anything else I can get my hands on because I just cut myself off from infinity.

We are trapped here by false rituals, rituals empty of heart, producing only more rituals.

“Ritual is the husk of true faith.”


This can mean rituals are the trash to be thrown away and keep us from the fruit of faith, or that the husk is the guardian and the doorway into the fruit of true faith. Either way, the meaning will be derived from the application of the ritual.

Our rituals are empty, so they make more rituals (mess). I have a pattern for making money; it’s called a job. This ritual only serves itself. As my way of making money eventually traps me into the ritual act of doing more work to produce more money to have more of what I want more of. The ritual increases itself and enslaves me to its process so that I believe I can not make money unless I have a job and work XYZ amount.

The same can be said for anything we do. Have you seen those people that have coffee mugs that read, “don’t talk to me, I haven’t had my coffee yet.” We have rituals for talking to other people. We need be fully stimulated before engaging.

Do you see this madness? We are then ritualistic about naming. “This is a thing I see, so I must name it.” Because how can anything in a dualistic world exist unnamed?

“The 10,000 things all have names; they don’t need anymore.”


So, we name it as a ritual to feel secure in our knowledge, and in our security, we create the prison for which we live bound by our fear of the great mystery. Led by empty rituals that are means to no end, yet they are familiar, so we keep them.

Fuck that.

However, if I speak the names and practice the ritual from my true nature, that is honoring the Tao. That is how the Sages lived.

“Can you let your dust settle and allow action to arise naturally?”

In this way, we are not trapped by contrived action but free to live the way we were created to live, in pure connection with the Tao.

Such elegance with which this prison has been constructed. Look at it with all its space and depth. Its variety and beauty, the scents and textures of a truly remarkable heaven.

It is all that it is because I have created it this way. A heaven with so much variety, yet only a few of the 10,000 things are used. Only that which I am familiar with I allow to become familiar with me.

My named termanel life,

With its fixed positsions

illusions of ideas, and novelty.

Touch the sun, can you?

Go anywhere, do you?

Have anything, will you?


They are ruled by the named one,

The judge of all judges, the masked faces of all things.

I am trapped because I name,

I name because of this trap,

I think identifying my cell will help me escape.

There is no escape; the opposite of the way things are is still the way things are; the only ones who are free have left this ritual of naming and go within.

I even require inspiration for my inspiration. Does anything come from the original source, or is it all ping pong balls bouncing off rocks at a rodeo?

Happy day.


Tao Te Ching Day 1: Infinite Imagination (with audio)

Photo by Chavdar Lungov on Pexels.com

Link will take you to the audio of the article: https://anchor.fm/matthew-whiteside/episodes/Tao-Te-Ching-Day-1-Infinite-Imigination-euebh5

A person sits quietly in meditation. The unmoving, unchanging expression on their face disguises the universe being created inside of them.

A world of chaos and beauty stirs around them as they sit and breathe in the invisible life force.

I have spent a fair amount of time reading and working to understand the Tao Te Ching, and in that time, I have realized that my understanding does not result from me thinking more diligently about the text. Instead, it is a practice of feeling the text without senses.

Today, on the day of my birth, I embark on a 365-day journey into the Tao.

Each day I will read the book and then do my best to interpret my understanding of the book. I do not propose to be an expert of any sort, and my only hope is to deepen my knowledge of the source of creation.

I hope you find what you are looking for here, and I hope that we all let go of what we desire a little more each day.

Day 1

I am spoken to inside of an empty room. I am not even present in this room, yet space is created for me.

Day one of reading the Tao brought up a simple thought, IMAGINATION. The Tao Te Ching says, “the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”

I will be honest a lot of the book is confusing as hell, but I believe that is the point. To break our minds of its old pattern recognition and see the true pattern in the Universe.

The Tao, I believe, is speaking to the amorphous form of imagination. When reading the book, I had a distinct vision of the big bang as the universe began. However, this vision was different; it wasn’t simply matter exploding from nothing; it was a person sitting down to meditate. In the darkness of my mind, I saw into the darkness of their mind and from that nothingness, from the stillness of a moment of meditation sprang forth all of creation.

If anyone has ever meditated, they can speak to this sense of thoughts exploding to life almost at an unfathomable rate. Most people do not make it past the first explosion before standing and getting on with their day, and rightfully so.

The big bang that appears in our mind during a moment of meditation is seismic and can, in many cases, shake the foundation of our Universes as we are shown all the terrible, horrible, nasty things that transpire in the past and future.

The beauty of the vision I had was that the bang of creation or imagination does not stop once we arise from meditation. On the contrary, the truth of the matter is that we were and are The Bang. No amount of doing anything will take us from the source of that creation.

We are the imagination.

However, if we are unwilling to allow ourselves to deal with the hell of the moment of creation as trillions and trillions of particles and atoms collide to create something new, in a hell storm of fire and destruction, we keep our minds in that time and space so to speak.

The Tao, like the imagination expands, never ceasing. It contains and welcomes all things, so says the Tao Te Ching. In which case, we can focus on the bang, or we can focus on the continued ordering of the expansive chaos.

Talk about a brain full.

Where our focus flows, our energy goes. So, if we find ourselves in the chaos, realize that we only must sit and see past the chaos to the glory of all the beautiful creation.

The lesson I received today was to exist through the chaos and know that all things flow to the Tao. So, as I remain still amid the storm, I am being carried to gentler waters.

But, I don’t want anyone to try and understand this with their mind. The point is to feel it. To feel the chaos at the beginning of your silent meditation and watch as it all fades and orders itself the longer we sit and breathe in the silence.

To me, this is understanding the Tao, not in mind but practice. The Tao Te Ching also says that you can not try and be one with the Tao; you simply are.

I feel that there is so much more to say here about day one. The interesting thing to note also is that, like the expansiveness of the imagination, the ideas about the Tao continue to flow unending for eternity.

Thanks for reading; the Tao is yours.


A Darkness Building (Audio) #writingcommunity #poetry

silhouette of man standing against black and red background
Photo by Elti Meshau on Pexels.com

The loss of all life inside the estuary brought about more minions of death and doom than he was able to handle.

His instincts had led him down this road, fighting every demon with righteous wrath and a Feral call to the God of heaven that appeared before him in his darkest moments.

All the sweat all the blood.  All the loss and heartache that had strengthened his resolve had burned a hole in him that was hidden by rage and torn open by fear.

The road was in utter darkness for the way ahead had no end… no finish line.

The warrior’s sword slick with the sinew and death of the battles freshly won only to find more destruction with the next swing.

It was tiring, the endless darkness went on forever only to be ignited by the sheen of the blade as it made contact again with the next.  The spray of blood brought fresh waves of heat and nausea to the worn down warrior.

It would be over soon, he couldn’t continue in this fight for much longer as he poured soul and sword into the oncoming destruction.

He knew there was nothing he could do.  That the only way was to give up because the night would never end.  It was never meant to end, he was never meant to survive.

Yet he strikes with all the fury and fear of a man with a different destiny.  Of a man that believes there is a purpose to the slaughter.

He believes he can win even though there is no winning.  There is only darkness and it will swallow him as soon as he submits.  And then he will be free.

He does not see the freedom in the submission he only sees the failure.

As the Warrior stumbles and slips, the floor wet from the battles.

He trips and falls upon the ground as the minions gather to devour the kill they have been craving.  The one that thought his light could break through.

The warrior who fought for years and years never sleeping or eating, never stopping.  Beating back the plague of darkness that was born only to end him.

Now he stops unmoving save for the heavy falls of his breath from his ragged chest weathered and beaten from the unforgiving battle.

The light lost from his sword now taken in only by the darkness around him.





A foolish fight, by a foolish man.  To believe he could change anything.  His fight was for nothing and now he joins the nothing.

Because never was he more than nothing.

For all his belief and all his life, he could not overcome the night.

Tao Te Ching Day 100:

It blunts the sharpness

Unravels the knots

Dims the glare

Mixes the dusts

So indistinct!

It seems to exist

I do not know whose offspring it is

Its image is the predecessor of the Emperor

TTC 4 (Lin)

Tao Te Ching Day 98: Yummy in my Tummy

Thus the governance of the sage:

Empties their hearts

Fills their bellies

Weakens their ambitions

Strengthens their bones

TTC 3 (Lin)

One of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching.

A full stomach and a heart emptied of desires is like my Friday nights.

Does Netflix strengthen ones bones?

Anyway, happy 4th. I hope everyones bellies are full and hearts are open.

Available on Amazon

Tao Te Ching day 96: Expect the Unexpectacular 😁.

“They succeed but do not dwell on success.”

TTC 2 (Lin)

Realizing success is a subjective result it does no good to dwell in it, just as it makes no sense to dwell in failure.

Each of these things could be the opposite to another individual so it is best to experience it and then let go.

I see a rumination on being successful in my own life as an invitation for unnecessary expectations. Expectations that would assume I must succeed at everything I do or that I will no longer try unless my expectations of success are a sure thing.

The hole which we can fall down is great when we hold on to any idea of ourselves or our outcomes.

Available on Amazon!!!

Tao Te Ching Day 95: It’s like a 3D painting.

Difficult and easy bring about each other

Long and short reveal each other

High and low support each other

Music and voice harmonize each other

Front and back follow each other

TTC 2 (Lin)

Two people walk into a bar. The first person asks for a cider drink.

The bartender says, cool drink bro.

The second person orders a glass of milk.

The bartender says that will cost you extra.

The second guy asked why.

The bartender said, because our cows are sick.

The second guy says, oh well, never mind, I’ll have a bag of chicken.

The bartender says, ok here ya go.

The first guy asks if he is ever gonna get his cider.

The bartender says, oh your still here?

I love you.

Can you deal with that second person.

Wait who is talking.

I am.

Who are you?

I am the person talking.

That is unhelpful.


The bartender went out of business the next day.

The two people were actually really thirsty.

The one who was talking left after a while.

First always goes second and last won’t be the first.

Are there tacos in space?

In The end?

If confused read backwards.

If still confused read from the 6th line up then from last line too the 6th.

If you still don’t understand read every other line from the top.

Now read every other line starting with the second line.

Tao Te Ching Day 94: We Human

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises

When it knows good as good, evil arises

Thus being and nonbeing produce each other

TTC 2 (Lin)

When we experience anything as a specific thing, we create a dualistic world. Can anyone experience life as a happening?

If we did experience life as if it were merely phenomena, what would be the point of all of us here? We would be no different than water or air if that were the case.

We are here to experience all of life as a unique critique on all creation because water already experiences life as pure essence.

Air experiences life as pure essence.

Humans experience life as pure being, and being is this and that some days.

Available on Amazon

Tao Te Ching Day 93: The Experience

Essence and manifestation emerge as one. The unity of these is the mystery of the Universe. It is the secret to everything.

Be in essence with out labeling or naming that which you experience. To do so is to experience oneness with everything. Experience everything as distinct and unique to be filled with wonder.

It can seem over whelming and confusing but this is really a practice of not judging or labeling any experience as a fixed reality. What we think it is to us is different to another, see the wholeness of each experience by living in the essence of what is happening in each moment.

To do this practice sitting quietly with your self, until the mind becomes a clear mirror reflecting without pre-judgement everything that passes infront of it.

The only way to experience it is to experience it.

Tao Te Ching Day 92: Have You Ever Had a Dream

The named is the mother of myriad things

Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

TTC 1 (Lin)

Having the dreams of a million versions of life I spend the night in trees. I walk the molten pathways of chocolate rivers and dive the depths of endless space.

To desire is to create from the vastness of the endless Tao.

To be desire-less, I experience all of everything and all of nothing in a single glance.

What would you rather experience, one thing you want now? Or all of eternity in every moment?

Desire is the former; desire-less is the latter.

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 91: The Gravity

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth.

TTC 1 (Lin)

We weigh things here on planet Earth. The gravity makes it so. I call it The Gravity, because it asked me too. It said, “listen, Matt, can I call you Matt?

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

“Ok good, listen. I want you to call me The Gravity from here on out, ok?”

“Yeah, I can do that. Can I ask why?” I shrug.

“I guess you just did, didn’t ya?” Gravity chuckled.

It was like a great balloon was beeing bounced inside my skull at the sound of it’s laugh.

“I know everyone has an opinnion of me. They all think, “wow, ain’t gravity a bitch, always keeping me down.” And the optimist say, “thank goodness for gravity for keeping my feet on the ground.” Well, guess what, I don’t do it for anyone but me.”

“Wait, you don’t do what?” I asked very confused by this whole conversation.

“Are you kidding me? Have you been listening to a word I said? I don’t weigh on people for them. I do it for me.”

“Oh, you mean it brings you joy? To weigh people down, to the earth?”

“Yeah, it’s my purpose in life, you know.”

“Ok, but what does that have to do with calling you The Gravity?”

“Along time ago, when I was just a little gravity, everyone on this planet had super long necks and stretchy arms and legs. They all walked around with their heads in the clouds, like they owned the place. If you ask me you all are lucky that I grew up so big and strong.” The Gravity poked it’s chest out and bounced its pecks.

“Yeah, I mean I am pretty glad to not have super long arms and legs. These regular sized ones are great.” I said holding my arms up in amusement.

“Exactly, you’re welcome,”

“Alright, The Gravity, thanks for the story and the new information. I am gonna get going now.”

“Hey, thanks for calling me The Gravity, it means alot.”

“My pleasure. Well, keep… Um… Holding it down.”

“That a joke?”

“No, it’s the Law—of gravity.” I ran away screaming and laughing. The Gravity’s laugh bounced around my head again as I disappeared into a Chipotle.

The End…

Happy Day.