The Daodejing – A Guide

Ch. 1

There is an idea
in mystical traditions
philosophical traditions
religious traditions
even artistic traditions
of something
which “transcends”

i.e. something which goes
“beyond”
- beyond our ordinary experiences
- beyond our ability
to know
- beyond our ability to understand
or at least to “rationally” understand
and/or describe with human language.

So in Daoism,
there is this idea,
this mystical or philosophical idea
that the “Way” the “true Way”
of the World is something
which is beyond “name”
i.e. beyond human description.

The Way the World
is
is
regardless of the words we
choose to use
in describing our own personal
experiences.

So all the ideologies,
the religions the “isms”
of the world, the attempts
to “Know the truth”
are fundamentally flawed,
or at least limited,
in so far as the “truth” of the world
is ultimately “not-knowable”
at least in its completeness.

And this makes sense
since the world is always
changing
and we are limited human beings
with a limited range of experience
during our short time
here on planet Earth.

That being said, in Daoism
- which itself is another ism, by the way
- Daoism isn’t a term in the Daodejing,
it’s a term we use to describe
the philosophy encapsulated
in the Daodejing and other texts…
there is also the
idea
that there is in fact a Way that the world
works
i.e. nature, or reality.

So its not that there is no Way,
that is incorrect, but rather that
there is a “Way” that goes beyond
human comprehension,
but that we can “understand”
within our limited human grasp
and strive to act in accordance
with, to “go with the Way”
or “go with the Flow”
and so eliminate a lot of unnecessary
suffering.

In Daoism, or at least the Daodejing,
suffering results from doing things
that are unnatural, and so going
against
“the Way.”

A second concept here in the Daodejing
is that of the Dao, the “Way,”
being the “mother of all things.”

What this means, is that all things
are natural, everything participates
in “Nature” or “Reality.”

Therefore, since everything comes
into being i.e. we are all born
and likewise we all go out of being i.e. die
the “Way” is therefore
the “Creator” of everything.

Of course, this is seen by Westerners
as a parallel to the monotheistic
“Creator-God,” and this can be
seen in religious terminology,
although it doesn’t have to.

“Eliminating our desires in order
to comprehend the Mystery”
means that when we get attached
on particular things, particular
ways of seeing and doing,
particular desires for consequences
to happen, we forget that the
world is ultimately a Mystery,
meaning that we can’t know everything,
and since everything is connected
(a mystical tenant reaffirmed
by modern science in the equation
E = MC2 i.e. all matter is in fact energy)
there is always
something new to learn
about whatever “thing” we think we “know.”

We can, and should, therefore
use our “desire” to “see”
i.e. things,
but always be aware that
there is “more than meets the eye”
i.e. the Mysterious “Way.”