Just wanted to take a moment before I get to today’s verse to point out what I realized in my usual delayed fashion today. Two days ago I put it out to the universe a question about what I should focus on in the blog. I had already bought the “wrong” book before I asked the question (see my previous two entries).
So why, my Christ following friends may ask, am I embarking on this quest? I had not read the Tao Te Ching myself until earlier this year and when I did I discovered that the wisdom within those 88 verses supports the teachings of Christ, and dare I say, undergirds them in such a way that I suspect it was part of His education before He began His public ministry. In my limited understanding, the Tao (“the Way”), is synonymous with God or the Divine if that helps those who are taken aback… perhaps the subtitle of this adventure is “My Year of Thinking Dangerously.”
Day Two Quote:
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name.” (From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being)
If something can be fully explained it is no longer in the realm of the eternal. Naming conveys ownership. We name everything from our children, our pets, our cars, motorcycles, laptops (I’m typing this on “Lil Red”), and teddy bears. Or in my granddaughter’s case, everything is “mine” (she’s two and a half).
In the bible, when Moses asked the burning bush who he should tell Pharoah had sent him to demand the release of the Israelites, God replies, tell him I AM sent you. Moses must have turned away thinking great…thanks…
In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam his first task: to name the animals, and eventually Eve (the story goes that when Adam first saw her he said, “whoa, man”). Naming creates a power shift from the receiver of the name to the giver of the name.
The first book of the bible states that God SAID [emphasis mine], let there be light. He literally spoke the creation into existence. The Gospel of John starts with the assertion that “In the beginning was the Word…”
So here I am endeavoring to know the unknowable and explain the unexplainable. Maybe I’m complicating the complicated. Perhaps the essence of this passage is simply this: the Tao is spirit and can only be understood, or told, or named, in my spirit. I can only offer my wonderings about the Tao in hopes that they create wonder. Wonderful!
- 2 reviews of Lao Tzu (rateitall.com)