A Discourse On Taoist Philosophy

In an ancient China full of selfish lords, underhanded merchants who would do anything to turn a profit, and faithless children who went against their parents out of self-interest, the modest thinker Lao-Tze created his philosophy of Taoism.It sought to balance the excess of creative impulse and active imagination [yang] with receptivity, passiveness, and understanding [yin].His timeless text, Tao Te Ching, overflows with paradoxes and antilogies as it attempts to explain the mysterious power of the cosmos [Te], a concept virtually unheard of in the Western world, translated as "actionless action" [Wu Wei], the being who has mastered wu wei [the Sage], and the way itself [Tao] – things which to the untrained eye, appropriately enough, may ironically never be understood.
Te may best be described as "the effortless spontaneity of all things acting in a harmonious way."Lao-Tze saw te as the forces of the world at their purest – the perfect concord ofyin and yang.It is characteristic of all natural things to act in regard to one another, and Lao-Tze obviously wanted to carry this over to human behavior.Te is also seen as the power which is used by a master of tao – not a physical power [that would go against the word of the tao] but rather the humility that living simply will bring.The true key to understanding te is to realize that one is not living life but that life is living the individual instead; to see this one must grasp that all humans are living the same cycle and that they are part of a greater whole [which is paradoxically nothing] – they are born from nothing, they exist, and then they return to nothing.To think about this enigmatic cycle is truly humbling. It is no wonder that Lao-Tze described te as "the mystical virtu!
A concept deeply rooted in te is wu wei, which is literally translated as "not

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