Tao-Te-Ching 无用 (Using that which does not have any physical existence, s.11)

Please see the previous sections before reading this one:
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
30 (三十, 3 and 10) wheel spokes together (辐共) in 1 (一) Wheel (毂)
They (其 their, its)  act (当) not (无), They exist (有) to be used (用) by the axle (greater structure of 车 car/cart)
Meaning: Although there are many spokes of a wheel, the spokes do not move. Rather, they are moved in conjunction with the axle. We are the same way, we may seem like individuals but we are all working in the Hukam/Divine Command.
Dhan Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji Maharaj teach us the nature of what we may currently understand as ourselves:
ਮਾਟੀ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਪੁਤਰੀ ਜੋਰੀ ਕਿਆ ਏਹ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਸਿ ॥
Maatee Kee Eih Puthree Joree Kiaa Eh Karam Kamaas[i]
This is a puppet made from putting clay together, what action can it earn/do itself?
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਾਹ ਪਕਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਸੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਜੰਤ ਮਿਲਾਸਿ ॥੧॥
Prabh Pakar[i] Jis[u] Maarag[i] Paavah[u] Thudhh Ja[n]th Milaas[i]
Whoever’s arm Vaheguru holds onto and places on this path of spirituality,
So shall these beings will meet Vaheguru...
(Raag Kaanrraa, Ang 1304)
Our bodies and mind are just spokes of the wheel of the Universe... these are unconscious things. Consciousness/action are through the Axle of Vaheguru. Again, we are able to accept Hukam through this reflection.

Likewise, Bhagat Kabeer Ji explain to us the same:
ਇਸ ਮਾਟੀ ਮਹਿ ਪਵਨੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ
Is Maatee Mah[i] Pavan[u] Samaaeiaa
Air (Breath) was placed into this clay
ਝੂਠਾ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਜੋਰਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Jhoottaa Parpa[n]ch Jor[i] Chalaaeiaa
...then this false universe was caused to move
(like clay-mation/puppet show may seem real
but actually not real but moved by Puppeteer)
(Raag Gaurree, Ang 336)
Water is mixed into clay (埏) to create a clay-structure (埴 large structure of soil) it exists in order (为 because) to serve (以 use as) as a clay pot/vessel (器 tool, utensil, device), To act as (当) without (无) existing (其 refers to specifying an individual with pronoun... seemingly as a separate entity)
It (之) exists (有) to serve (用) as part of larger mechanism (器 device/tool/utensil)
Meaning: No one thinks of the clay or the water which were put together to become the pot. However, they are definitely present there. In the same way, Vaheguru is within everything although we may not think of Their Presence. Vaheguru’s Presence is Subtle within this Ever-changing Universe.
Bhagat Kabeer Ji points out the hidden truth:
ਕੁਮਾਰੈ ਏਕ ਜੁ ਮਾਟੀ ਗੁੰਧੀ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਬਾਨੀ ਲਾਈ ॥
Kumaarai Ek Ju Maatee Gu[n]dhhee Bah[u] Bidhh[i] Baanee Laaee
There is One Sculptor/Potter who kneads the clay and then paints it various ways
(Raag Aasaa, Ang 479)
We see different people, colours, times, spaces, places, etc... but don't think about the Vaheguru who fashioned but also resides within it All. The purpose of everything in the world is to serve as a way to remember Vaheguru. The creation exists for the separated self to look for Vaheguru. Vaheguru is the most humble as they remain hidden while being so great.
A door and window (户) are cut out (凿) for the purpose (以为) of lighting (牖) [and entering] making a room (室)
It exists (当) while not doing (无)
It (之) exists (有) to serve a function (用) for a room (室)
Meaning: A doorway and window frame do not exist because they are physically present. They exist by creating a lack of something. Having 4 walls and a roof will create a box. As soon as a doorway is carved into the box then it becomes a room. It will be a dark and impractical room. As soon as a window is carved, only then is the room functional. The ways of the world encourage us to be known and strive for material things. In spiritual terms, the mind and body exist in peace when the ego is carved out. The ego isn’t really there but the lack of it will bring light and make the mind spiritually functional. Just like the window frame and doorway need to be carved out.
Guru Sahib has shown us this quite directly but we may not have the eyes to see Gurbani in this way:
ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਪੁ ਛਡਿ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੁ ॥੭॥
Eio[u] Kahai Naanak[u] Aap[u] Chhad[i] Sukh Paavah[i] Man nimaaNaa Hoe[i] Rah[u]
In this way, let go/renounce the ego and attain peace... let the mind remain humility...
(Dhan Dhan Guru Amardas Sahib Ji Maharaj in Raag Aasaa, Ang 440)
The ego is a projection of the separated mind that overidentifies with the body. The mind becomes dark and the light of spiritual wisdom does not shine clearly. When the window of ego is carved out then the peace of spiritual wisdom shines in and outside of the existence of the body/mind. The ego is one of those things which exists due to a lack of something. In this case, it is a lack of spiritual knowledge. Just like a snake appears due to misperceiving the rope in a dark room. The ego appears due to misperceiving a separated existence from Vaheguru.
Its (之) cause (故) of existing (有) is to be used (以为) for a benefit (利),
The lack (无) of it (之) creates a purpose (用) to be used (以) as is (为).
Meaning: Our existence does not need to be bombarded with action and stimulation. To bring peace to the mind, the mind may actually need to abstain from action and stimulation.
Guru Sahib tells us over and over again to let go of the individual self's desires:
ਸਭ ਤਜੀ ਮਨੈ ਕੀ ਕਾਮ ਕਰਾ ॥
Sabh Thajee Manai Kee Kaam Karaa
I have let go of all the mind’s desires
(Dhan Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji in Raag Aasaa, Ang 408)
These desires continue the separated sense of self away from Vaheguru. Desires are oriented towards the ego. These don't mean basic physical needs of the human body. Likewise, Dhan Dhan Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj teach us in Raag Aasaa:
ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਲੇਵਹੁ ॥
Dhurmath[i] Thiaag[i] Laahaa Kichh[u] Laevah[u]
Letting go of misperception (bad way of thinking) and receive profit
ਜੋ ਉਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਵਹੁ ॥੩॥
Jo Upjai So Alakh Abhaevah[u]
[Realize] that whatever comes up is the Unfathomable and Undifferentiated
(Ang 356)
Maharaj is telling us that just like a dam may stop the flow of water from one side to another. We have an incorrect way of seeing the world and that acts as a dam to accessing the Form of Eternal Peace~Vaheguru. Guru Sahib says that what ever comes in the mind see that as the Form of Vaheguru as well. When everything is seen as Vaheguru then Hukam is accepted quicker. The mind is no longer bombarded with desires. More thoughts and more actions does not lead to peace. Rather a way of perceiving the thoughts as they come and go will allow us to see the Form of Peace. Thus, in this state Lao Tse Ji tells us to not look for purpose of thoughts/actions (desires are the purpose) but when you do not follow the desires of the mind, there is an opportunity to think in the present moment and remember Vaheguru's Omnipresence.
Please forgive any mistakes in commentary/translations. Please let daas know about any clarifications or suggestions.
Guru Panth Ka daas

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