Principle of Oneness

We may now summarize our discussion of Chapter 1 with a simple principle. In Tao philosophy, Oneness is the basis of all realities, so we may identify the principle of Tao as The Principle of Oneness 恆一原則:

We may represent a reality (Heng Tao) with two manifestations (Heng Wu and Heng Yu). The two manifestations will have different characteristics; however, they will be equivalent representations of the same reality. Both manifestations appear at the same time.

We may designate two opposite objects (Wu and Yu) to describe the manifestations. Both objects will participate simultaneously and complementarily in the formation of each manifestation. The descriptions of the manifestation will be vague, self-contradictory and indeterminate in terms of the objects. Such ambiguity and vagueness is inherently the profound and mysterious nature of reality in the phenomenal world.

According to this Principle of Oneness, any “division” of a reality will result in “multiple” equivalent representations of the same reality. A reality is thus indivisible, although it manifests in multiple ways. In other words, a principle may be maintained in various manifestations. Reality is like a hologram that each part should reflect the whole.

The opposites are wholly abstract; the reality is that opposites provoke each other within each one. Each object has no meaning, except with respect to its opposite. In the phenomenal world, we habitually treat these opposites as parts of the whole. How the parts participate in the whole is an ancient philosophical problem. Therefore, the Principle of Oneness is a general principle. We may see equivalent principles in the early Greek philosophy, the Buddhist, and modern philosophy and science.

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