Tao Wisdom

Tao Wisdom

TAO (), also known as The Way or Tao wisdom, is the ancient wisdom from China more than two thousand years ago. It originated from the ancient classic Tao Te Ching, the only book written by Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage, who was born with white hair--often considered a sign of old age and wisdom.

Tao Te Ching (道德經) is an ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom. This unique piece of literature is one of the most translated books in human history and world literature. The book is a beautiful collection of Chinese wisdom poetry, in which the author expresses his wisdom in living life in all of its beauty and joy, as well as in all of its pain and sorrow. The language is simple and poetic, but controversial and paradoxical.

”My words are easy to understand
and easy to perform,
Yet no man under heaven
knows them or practices them.”
(Tao Te Ching, Chapter 70)

Above all, Tao wisdom is inspiring and intriguing.
There are altogether 81 short chapters, expressed in only 5,000 words. It must be pointed out that there was no punctuation in the original text. Given that each word In the Chinese language may be capable of having multiple meanings, the text without any punctuation is open to many different interpretations. A plausible explanation was that Lao Tzu was very much reluctant to express his wisdom in words. As a matter of fact, according to the legend, at that time he was at the point of leaving China for Tibet when he was stopped at the city gate and was told by the guard that he had to put down his wisdom in words before he could leave the country. Deliberately and defiantly, he put down his wisdom concisely and precisely in only 5,000 words with no punctuation at all.

Tao wisdom from Tao Te Ching is intriguing because it is simple and open to various different interpretations. It is like the three blind men, touching different parts of an elephant, who try to describe what an elephant may look like.

Tao wisdom focuses on letting go of the ego, which is the source and the underlying cause of all human miseries and life problems. Without the ego, we do not have to overdo what we want to accomplish; without overdoing, we have no worry of the outcome; with no expectation, we believe in spontaneity, i.e. all things follow a natural cycle, such as life is inevitably followed by death; understanding spontaneity, we live in the present.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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