Tao or Dao (道, Pinyin: About this sound Dào (help·info) ) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion (Wade-Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophy (Wade-Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Tao is thus "eternally nameless” (Dao De Jing-32. Laozi) and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations. There is a close analogue in the Western tradition, with the German philosophical term "Sein", generally translated as Being, but it would be more accurate to understand that Tao also would include Nothingness as well.
Image reproduction rights can be found in the link near the bottom of this description.
Sign up to Mr. Rebates for FREE and save 12% on any zazzle order in addition to a $5.00 sign up bonus
All Rights Reserved; without: prejudice, recourse or notice (U.C.C. 1-308)
Image Reproduction Rights:
tao dao way path route doctrine principle symbol chinese "chinese symbol" "chinese word" "tao symbol" "dao symbol" taoism laozi "wade giles" "tao chiao" pinyin daojiao "wade chia" confucianism chan buddhism "zen buddhism" "natural order" "eternally nameless" "universal order"