Tag: chinese philosophy

The Tao Te Ching and God: Does Tao = God?

Now I’m not technically (whatever that means) a Taoist, and Taoism has gone through many changes (PERVERSIONS, if you ask me) since the earliest conception of the philosophy/religion which existed even before Lao Tzu, but if you read a good translation of the Tao Te Ching (which is Taoism’s core text–I suggest the translation by Johnathan Starr to begin with) it sure does seem that TAO = GOD.

There are lots of verses that point to this idea, but I’d like to simply share one that is especially PROFOUND.

These are the first 4 lines of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching:

“The Tao that is the Tao, is not the true/everlasting Tao.

The Name that is the Name, is not the true/everlasting Name”

Pretty cryptic huh? GET USED TO IT! The Tao Te Ching and Taoism is HIGHLY cryptic, which is a big part of its BEAUTY and INTRIGUE. Let’s try replacing the word TAO with the word GOD:

“The God that is the God, is not the true/everlasting God.

The Name that is the Name, is not the true/everlasting Name”

What this means to me is that the God that you (as in ANYBODY) think of as God, is not the TRUE form/understanding of God. God transcends ALL understanding of anyone or anything that is not God itself. NOBODY CAN UNDERSTAND GOD, or even begin to understand God, because that is how profound and incredible God is. That is what the Tao Te Ching is saying here.

By the same reasoning, whatever name or label you ascribe to God (“God” included haha) is not the TRUE name of God, which (if there is one) cannot be spoken by mere mortal mouths or confined to a set of letters.

A little food for thought. Do you guys think that Tao = God?