‘He who speaks of the Tao does not know of the Tao.’
This rather confusing paradoxical statement by Lao-tzu, written 3,500 years ago, is as important as ever in this age of religious dogma.
The Tao translates as ‘The way,’ or ‘The truth.’ It is not a method to be taught. It is not a set of rules to follow. It is not a philosophy to adopt, or a path to follow with rules and regulations.
The nearest description is that it is a way of being; our way of being in this world; a way of becoming who we really are and who we aspire to be.
‘The way’ is acknowledging and learning from what has gone before. To be grateful for the experiences, whether helpful or challenging at the time. To learn from experience how that can be useful to oneself or others in the future.
‘The way’ is discovered in silence. Finding a time and place to be quiet, allowing the mind to settle, and the spirit be peaceful. Then ‘the way’ can emerge for each of us.
This becoming who we are is a feeling of returning to settle in our centre. It is a kind of returning home to a place that is familiar and comfortable, while sensing an urge to move forward and be curious.
Dr Craig Brown