The wise Dao teacher Jape-Dze has left numerous poems and texts, but this one untitled work he did not complete, leaving just a scribble as the last line.

Many have tried to decipher the scribbles, assumed to contain eternal truths, and have reduced it to a few possible options.

It is said that only a very wise person, one who can truly see without seeing, can decide which of the options is the correct one to complete the poem.

So said Jape-Dze:

To be a master of the Dao
you must flow like a river
and be still as the mountain

When you speak of the Dao
know that it is not the Dao
the real Dao cannot be spoken

To become a master is simple
you need to open your eyes and

The possible last lines:

  • eat raw spaghetti
  • see what's in front of you
  • water your plants every weekday
  • realise you are the master
  • act without forcing

2 Answers 2


Since I'm supposed to "see without seeing", I'm going to ignore the fine details and go with

water your plants every weekday,
because each set of three lines has increasing length and the only answer longer than line eight also happens to be the same length as the row of ?'s.

This answer is probably wrong, however.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Correct! and it's a very good Daoist twist that you're unsure of your answer ;) $\endgroup$
    – Dotan
    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:21


act without forcing


Dao is the process of reality itself, the way things come together, while still transforming. Daoism is not a philosophy of “doing nothing.” Those who experience oneness with dao, known as “obtaining dao,” will be enabled to wu-wei. Wu-wei means something like “act naturally,” “effortless action,” or “nonwillful action.” The point is that there is no need for human tampering with the flow of reality (Source: Internet Encyclopedia of Philisophy).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it is, but there's a puzzle to solve here too - the lines in the code block won't be for nothing, there will be a way to use them to derive the answer. Can you find it to back up your answer? Pretty sure the OP will want to see their method explained... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 15, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I actually think all the answers are valid Dao sayings. For example, "eating raw spaghetti", if this is what you want to do and you do it "without forcing", can be very much Dao $\endgroup$
    – Dotan
    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:23

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