As Named, it is the mother of all things. The Tao is not a thing or a substance in the conventional sense. noun (sometimes lowercase) (in philosophical Taoism) that in virtue of which all things happen or exist. The evidence just summarized would indicate rather that "tao with the hand" is but a variant of the basic tao and that the word itself combined both nominal and verbal aspects of the etymon. Keller considers it similar to the negative theology of Western scholars, but the Tao is rarely an object of direct worship, being treated more like the Hindu concepts of karma or dharma than as a divine object. It is like magnetism. The most closely related English words are "track" and "trek", while "trail" and "tract" are derived from other cognate Indo-European roots. They do not describe its reality. Tao would seem, then, to be etymologically a more dynamic concept than we have made it translation-wise. The Way is to man as rivers and lakes are to fish, Each school of philosophy has its tao, its doctrine of the way in which life should be ordered. The use of 'Dao' in this context refers to the literal 'way' of Buddhism, the return to the universal source, dharma, proper meditation, and nirvana, among other associations. The normal, mundane life is the path that leads to the Absolute, because the Absolute is contained within the mundane objects and events of daily life.. ‘The classic Tao-te-Ching or ' Book of the Way and its Virtue ', attributed to Lao-tzu, sets out the principles for leading this higher life.’ Feng, Gia-Fu & Jane English (translators). Tao (/daʊ/, /taʊ/) or Dao (/daʊ/ DOW; from Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào [tâu] (listen)) is a Chinese word signifying the "way", "path", "route", "road" or sometimes more loosely "doctrine", "principle" or "holistic beliefs". . It can, however, be known or experienced, and its principles (which can be discerned by observing Nature) can be followed or practiced. They integrate a broad spectrum of academic, ritualistic, supernatural, devotional, literary, and folk practices with a multitude of results. Soundless and formless it depends on nothing and does not change. Most recently, Taoism has emerged from a period of suppression and is undergoing a revival in China. These ancient dao characters more clearly depict the shou 首 "head" element as hair above a face. The writings of Lao Tzu and Chang Tzu are tinged with esoteric tones and approach humanism and naturalism as paradoxes. [nominal measure word] ① (for rivers/topics/etc.) He only rarely speaks of the t'ien Dao (Way of Heaven). The use of Chinese concepts, such as Dao, that were close to Buddhist ideas and terms helped spread the religion and make it more amenable to the Chinese people. The Tao Te Ching is the oldest text and representative of a speculative and philosophical approach to the Tao. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the art of ruling. It may be considered the mother of the universe. Also a female Japanese name. Taoism or Daoism is a Chinese philosophy and folk religion of people primarily in the rural areas of China. English words for tao include person, man, human, someone, guy, somebody, human being, individual, fellow and soul. It is known to have been written over 2400 years ago, but not much else is retained about the origins. , During the Song dynasty, Neo-Confucians regarded Dao as the purest thing-in-itself. Furthermore, dao 道 is the phonetic element in dao 導 "guide; lead" (with the cun 寸 "thumb; hand" radical) and dao 檤 "a tree name" (with the mu 木 "tree; wood" radical). The Tao lends its name to the religious tradition (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophical tradition (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) that are both referred to in English with the single term Taoism. There is no single orthodox Taoist view of the Tao. [reduplicated form] 〈topo.〉[non-Mandarin form] odd; fantastic; bizarre . It is the path on which one travels. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. It's not always easy to draw accurate distinctions between ideas that are fundamentally Taoist and those that Taoism took in from elsewhere, especially Buddhism. He also framed and elaborated on a "dàotǒng" (tradition of the Way) in order to reject the traditions of Buddhism. Tao is generally used as a boy's name. A derivative, Daoshi (道士, "Daoist priest"), was used already by the Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Nicolas Trigault in their De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas, rendered as Tausu in the original Latin edition (1615),[note 4] and Tausa in an early English translation published by Samuel Purchas (1625). It flows around and over obstacles like water, setting an example for those who wish to live in accord with it. The Way of Man means, among other things, procreation; and eunuchs are said to be 'far from the Way of Man'. Fina… Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence. The word "Tao" (道) has a variety of meanings in both ancient and modern Chinese language. For other uses, see, Religious, philosophical, and cultural interpretations. This involves meditative and moral practices. Finally in a particular school of philosophy whose followers came to be called Taoists, tao meant 'the way the universe works'; and ultimately something very like God, in the more abstract and philosophical sense of that term. This led to some philosophical and political conflicts between Taoists and Confucians. Tao is difficult to define because it is, by definition, beyond human understanding. The earliest written forms of dao are bronzeware script and seal script characters from Zhou Dynasty (1045–256 BCE) bronzes and writings. Although it gives rise to all being, it does not itself have being. , Buddhism first started to spread in China during the first century AD and was experiencing a golden age of growth and maturation by the fourth century AD. ② (for a course (of food); a streak (of light); etc.) 25 Life-Transforming Tao Te Ching Quotes & Passages. Tao Te Ching Chapter One Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao’ The name that can be named is not a Constant Name. , Some scholars make sharp distinctions between moral or ethical usage of the word "Tao" that is prominent in Confucianism and religious Taoism and the more metaphysical usage of the term used in philosophical Taoism and most forms of Mahayana Buddhism; others maintain that these are not separate usages or meanings, seeing them as mutually inclusive and compatible approaches to defining the principle. Historically, the concept of De differed significantly between Taoists and Confucianists.  In contrast to the esotericism typically found in religious systems, the Tao is not transcendent to the self nor is mystical attainment an escape from the world in philosophical Taoism. [verb] ① say; speak; talk (introducing direct quote, novel style) … ② think; suppose ◆B.F.  In the context of East Asian philosophy and East Asian religions, Tao is the natural order of the universe whose character one's human intuition must discern in order to realize the potential for individual wisdom. The earliest recorded usages were Tao (1736), Tau (1747), Taou (1831), and Dao (1971). Taoists took a broader, more naturalistic/metaphysical view on the relationship between humankind and the Universe, and considered social rules to be at best a derivative reflection of the natural and spontaneous interactions between people, and at worst calcified structure that inhibited naturalness and created conflict. As most scholarly sources will tell you, Taoism has no real founder nor does it have a founding date. This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 14:47. 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