Tao wisdom is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching. Literally, "Tao" means "the Way"; "Te" means "virtuosity"; and "Ching" means "classic." The book was written approximately in 6th century B.C. by Lao Tzu (which literally means "old master"). According to the legend, the ancient sage was forced to put down his profound wisdom into words before he was permitted to leave
China for . Reluctantly, he expressed
his wisdom in 81 short chapters with only 5,000 words, because he believed that
true wisdom could not be expressed in words. The language he used was extremely
simple and concise, but intriguing and paradoxical. That was one of the many
reasons why the book has fascinated millions of readers worldwide. Tao is also known as the Way—the way or
direction to understanding true wisdom, whether it is human or spiritual
Don't look elsewhere! Tao wisdom is already inside each and every one of us! Tao wisdom is inside you. Jesus said: “Seek and you shall find.” You need not look any further because it is right inside you! Ironically enough, it is not easy to find the Way: we tend to look to others or outside of ourselves in quest of that far-fetched and forever elusive wisdom.
There was the story of a beggar who asked a stranger for money. The stranger said he had no money to give him, and asked the beggar if he would look elsewhere for money, including the box he was sitting on. The beggar said he had been sitting on that box for years but he had never looked inside it. The stranger urged him to look inside the box. Reluctantly, he did. To his amazement, he found the box was filled with gold coins.
Yes, Tao wisdom is inside each and every one of us! But you have to look, just like the beggar did in the story!
Unlike conventional wisdom, which is external, focusing on the acquisition of knowledge, Tao wisdom, on the other hand is internal. According to conventional wisdom, knowledge is empowering; the more knowledgeable you are, the wiser you become. The ancient wisdom of Tao is quite the opposite: the more you know, paradoxically, the less wisdom you may have.
Accordingly, following the teachings of others, looking for role models to imitate, and making extra efforts—all recommended by conventional wisdom—they will not work for the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu. In Tao wisdom, you just look inside yourself because the internal wisdom is based on intuition of, insight into, and internalizing of your own experiences in life. It is "your" life and "your" own experiences that are uniquely yours. Looking for external sources does not help, and nobody can tell you how you should live your life. Only you have access to your life's blueprint, which is the essence of Tao wisdom in living.
The Book of Life and Living is an explanation of ancient wisdom, contemporary wisdom, and spiritual wisdom illustrated with concrete everyday examples. Create your own recipe for wisdom in living.
Stephen LauCopyright © Stephen Lau