The phrase 'yiu ming, "having name" (or simply ming, "name") means that which the definition of a name involves, and as such the term represents the actualized types of things. However wu ming, "not name" or "the Unnamable," corresponds to Plato's conception of the prototype of things before they have been actualized. Lao-tze speaks with reverence of the Unnamable, 1 which closely corresponds to the "Ineffable" of Western mystics.
The words "these two things" apparently refer to the Unnamable and the Namable.
What Lao-tze calls "the Name" or "the
[paragraph continues] Namable" is in Spinoza's language natura naturata, while "the Unnamable" is natura naturans. In either system the two are one; they are two aspects of one and the same thing which in Lao-tze's taoism is the Tao and in Spinoza's cosmotheism is God as the eternal substance.
131:1 See also Chapters 32 and 41.