A Gudiña – Chapter 1

We leave Vilavella for A Gudiña.


Karen takes photos of cows.



I also take a photo. The sunshine creates a mysterious effect.

We climb to a high elevation.

I read chapter 1 of the Tao te Ching (translated by Steven Mitchell):

“The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.”



This famous first line of the Tao te Ching is ironic since Lao tsu begins an 81 chapter document. If Lao tsu wants to tell us about the Tao, why does he need so many chapters?



“The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.”

Lao tsu provides a kind of poetry — a guide for the Inner Way.


“The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.”




Lao tsu notes that the eternal cannot be named.  Those who devise a label — calling it “God,” for example — fool themselves into thinking they know something about it.  Lap tsu suggests that the naming of something is the origin of the concept — but ultimate reality is more than a concept — it cannot be conceived.


“Free from desire, you realize the mystery.”
“Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.”


Lao tsu implies that one should  “be free of desire” in order to see clearly — how can one attain this state?

Those believe what someone else has told them about ultimate reality are caught up in their desire to believe. They benefit but they see only the surface of things — the manifestations.

Lao tsu, and mystics all over the world, offer similar methods for gaining insight into an inner reality.

There is a mystery that surrounds reality  and although Lao tsu’s guidance is obscure, the path involves reality — the real world hidden within the mundane world.

“Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.”



We reach reach the road and see A Gudiña in the distance. The secret is to follow a path.


Two bicyclists pass us and shout “Bien Camino!” Then a truck passes us,

“Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.”


We reach the hotel where we hoped to stay but when we arrived they could not give us a room.


We walk through town and check into the Hotel Suizo. I make a video of the view from our room.




After the sun sets, we see the moon.


Lao tsu does not offer an ideology — specific doctrines — that can be accepted as true or false. His poems offer a glimpse of the Inner Way — the exploration of your self.


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