Tao-te ching

-> Meaning

As you know Tao-te ching was written by Lao Tzu upon the request of the Guardian of the pass, Yin Hsi. It is a book of wisdom and guidance based on several concepts developed by its author, such as: Tao, yin-yang, wu, wu-wei and fu.

Te graph
Te graph
Generally speaking the content of the book is made of short essays approaching the characteristics (te) of Tao - the creator and sustainer of everything in the Universe - and the method of following the It which is the supreme goal of the Taoist adept.

Therefore, one must know the basic Taoist concepts in order to understand the meaning of these essays. For example, the word "tao" itself stands for several meanings, such as: great originator of everything in the universe, way or method, speech (logos), and so forth. One should consider all of these meanings in the given text to understand what is about.

The same with wu and wu-wei. Wu stands for emptiness (nonbeing, void) - the emptiness of the great beginning or the emptiness of the mind (acquired through meditation) which is the goal of the Taoist adept.

Wu-Wei is nondoing or doing without doing - another basic concept hold dear by Taoist adepts. In the Tao-te ching Tao does nothing but nothing rest undone.


Ree also:

-> Several commented chapters:
chap. 1 | chap.2 | chap. 3 | chap. 12 | chap. 18 |  | chap. 22 | chap. 60

-> Sarah's Tao Te Ching Meaning blog

-> A good beginners guide to the meaning of Tao-te ching here

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