Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Awe and Amazement

By Lao Tzu

Awe and Amazement

The Tao of the Tao Te Ching is about as awesome and amazing as something can possibly be. To Taoists, the Tao is everything: the stuff in your room, the cars in the street, the squirrels in the trees, the ocean, the whole friggin' Universe. The Tao is you, us, and everyone who's ever lived, is living, or will live. The Tao is the mother of everything that was, is, and will be.

As if that's not enough, the Tao is not only being, it's also non-being. It's everything that exists and everything that doesn't exist. Ultimately, the Tao is the great flow that puts everything together and takes it back apart. Kind of makes your brain hurt, right? That's what being awesome and amazing is all about.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. In what ways do Taoists think of the Tao as the mother of all things?
  2. How can something be being and non-being at the same time?
  3. What differences does the Tao Te Ching draw between the Tao's essence and manifestations?
  4. Compare and contrast the idea of the Tao to the concept of the divine in another religion. For example, how is it similar and different to the God of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity?

Chew on This

The idea of the Tao is compatible with every other religion; it even works for atheists.

The existence of the Tao is supported by modern-day science, in particular astrophysics.

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