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August 20, 2013


Read verse 1 of the Tao Te Ching and you will find wordings such as:

‘The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.’


‘The Reason that can be reasoned is not the eternal Reason. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The Unnamable is of heaven and earth the beginning. The Namable becomes of the ten thousand things the mother.’

Such translations can be confounding and simply wind up sounding like esoteric mumbo-jumbo. We give names to things to simplify. The Dao is not the Dao any more than a chair is a chair or red is red. But it would  be a great deal harder if we gave nothing these 'names.' Whenever we try to intellectualize something, we usually wind up making it more complicated than it needs to be and in some cases it becomes a distortion of the truth. Keep all things as simple as they can be. The Dao really is not that complicated, it’s just that we do not understand it. It is our failure to comprehend the simple that spawns such convoluted ideas.