Tao te Ching
Discover a More Natural Way
of Being in the World
Tao te Ching is translated to mean a book that develops te or your vital force when you follow the way of Tao. It is said to be written by Lao Tzu, a contemporary of Confucius and keeper of the imperial archives at Loyang, in the province of Honan, during the 6th century BC.
"While carrying on with life in your head - can you embrace its mystery and not let go?"
According to legend, he was riding away into the desert, sickened by the ways of men and was persuaded by a gatekeeper to record his wisdom. Scholars have traced its threads in the many writings of the ancient Chinese philosophers, who were in turn, also inspired by the I Ching. Therefore, some believe that this text was a compilation of ideas brought together during the 3rd century BC.
This poetic text attempts to provide an idea of what Tao is, since it does not lend itself to clear cut interpretation. Lao Tzu taught that since Tao is ever changing, it cannot be captured in words.
There is a dynamic force driving all things towards evolution, and this force is active in human events. While Confucius reintroduced the ancient concept of Tao, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu promoted it as a Return to Nature doctrine. Chuang Tzu sought an awareness of Tao that transcended normal perceptual boundaries, and brought the ideas of Taoism to the common people.
Its essence is underlying everything that happens in the world. By following the path of least resistance, one allows life to take its course naturally, without interference. At the same time "one can be master of their present existence" by simply understanding how "composure within will straighten out one's innerlife." The mysterious mirror reflects this inner composure into what is experienced around you. Exerting the will against events will only create further obstruction in the river of life.