The Dao that Can be Spoken

The Dao that can be spoken is not the eternal Dao. The Name that can be named is not the eternal Name. – Laozi

Dao is the modern way of transliterating the Chinese, Tao is the older way. It is pronounced dow.

Dao is usually translated as the Way. But this misses a lot. The Dao is the rhythm and flow of Nature. It is beyond words and descriptions.

A reality that can be captured by words is not really reality. A name can represent but not replace the thing named. Reality is always bigger than words and names.

Words are not real but are only symbols of the real. Words are important but not sufficient. Words are containers of meaning not reality. Experience, perspective, and actual practice are needed to fill in the meaning words leave out.

But far too many cannot get past the words. The symbols block their vision, blind their minds, and cloud reality from being known. This is why we must practice. This is why words must be put to death.

Only in a wordless world can we use words safely.

Published by

Jay N. Forrest

Zen Humanist Teacher.