Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching was not divinely inspired, but 2500 years ago in China, the circumstances were ripe for the book to come into existence. It was a chaotic period in Chinese history. Around this time, another famous book was written, The Art of War. The universe has a curious way of manifesting opposites like that.
The ancient sages who wrote the Tao Te Ching wanted to express the essence of the Tao, but they knew that the Tao could not be expressed by something as limited as human language. So, they started the Tao Te Ching with the line, “That which is called the Tao is not the Tao”. This is an acknowledgement of the limits of our understanding and a recognition that the Tao is not just in the written words, but also in the empty spaces of the page. The Tao is not just in spoken language, but also in silence.
The true essence of the Tao is probably in a blank page, but we’re not ready to abandon language entirely, so in this modern edition of the Tao Te Ching, some of the artifices of language have been removed to give a clearer view of the Tao.