Transition From Tao

A traditional break in the book of Tao Te is located here. Chapter 37 ends a reflection on Tao, and Chapter 38 begins a focus on Te choices available amid ten thousand things. Of course, this is an artificial break as we have already had to deal with applied or realized ethics (Te), and Tao is a constant background within which Te operates.

Tao is a great antecedent. To be grounded here does affect choices. Not all choices are equal, and attending to Tao reduces choices. Most choices are between this ten-thousandth of a thing and that. All manner of justifications can be used and abused in this sort of choosing. It might be asked, “Which Tao image, Jesus saying, Koranic verse, Prophetic utterance, or other organizing principle is attended to?” No consistency is available in these ongoing choices.

Choices that we might claim carry integrity rather than victory are more complex. We easily fall into teapot tempests where war and other ultimacies are predominant metaphors.

It would be helpful for readers here to take time to write out a current understanding of Tao they have gleaned from the first 37 chapters. Such a list can helpfully clarify responses to the concluding chapters (38–81).

What would you add to this beginning of a Top 10 list?

  1. Tao is undefinable
  2. Tao flows unbidden
  3. Tao generates through the primal feminine
  4. Tao is not power, neutrality, or passive
  5. Tao in Nature+
  6. Tao integrates integrity
  7. Tao …
  8. Tao …
  9. Tao …
  10. Tao …

Included in the above question is, “Which of the first six miss the mark and should be omitted or highly edited?”

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