Tao is hard to define – Reason 1

“The Tao that can be mentioned is not the eternal Tao,” says Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching Chapter 1.


There are many reasons for him to say so, and here’s reason 1.  It kick starts the first of our four video on the mini Tao Te Ching Explained series.

It has to do with time.

Tao is too old for anyone to truly know it.

If you’re 20 years old, it’s really hard for you to know what a 100 year-old person thinks and why he does the things he does. You can guess. You can analyse. But chances are you don’t really know.

How old is Tao?

Well, Tao is not 100 years old. It’s a lot, a lot, a lot older than that.

It’s so much older than you can ever imagine.

Tao created the universe. So it has to be older than the universe.

How old is the universe?

Nobody can say it for sure, but it’s believed to be at least 13.8 billion years old.

What about the life time of a human being.

If we assume it to be 100 years, then it’s only 0.0000000072 of the universe’s existence.

What does it mean? It means we are simply too young to know the universe, even when we’ve reached the age of 100.

No wonder we can never see the full picture of Tao.

It’s just too old for us to know.

It aslo explain why Lao Tzu would say, “The Tao that can be mentioned is not the eternal Tao.”


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