The Taoist Trader: Tao Te Ching (Chapter 5, Part 2)
Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.
The space between heaven and earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form.
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
“They see the people as straw dogs” implies that the wise perceive peoples’ societal beliefs as trite sentimentality that needs to be burnt away or sacrificed to reveal true spiritual values.
“Wing-Tsit Chan and others point out, ‘Straw dogs were used for sacrifices in ancient China. After they have been used, they were thrown away and there was no more sentimental attachments to them’” (Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, p.88).
Emptiness and the Creative Void
The last five lines appear to refer to emptiness (the space between heaven and earth, the inside of the bellows) and the creative void (the center). I’m not talking about the Swedish Death Metal band, Dark Tranquillity, and its songs “The Emptiness From Which I Fed” and “I Am The Void” (from the album We Are The Void) and the band’s upcoming album Our Cats Are The Void. I’m not talking about the Buddhist concept of emptiness and the void referring to a lack of an enduring essential nature or permanent self. I am referring to the emptiness as the inside of a bamboo flute where the wind from the creative void creates the flute notes and ultimately the song tapestry of each of our lives.
An Empty Bamboo Flute
As a trader you need to be an empty bamboo flute and let the underlying structure of the market (the Tao) blow through you, creating each trade like an original musical score. “More words count less.”