Our Journey

Our journey starts around the year 1999 with a simple curiosity: Why is the Tao Te Ching so difficult to interpret? [1]After surveying through many existing interpretations of this classic, the subsequent questions arise: Why is it, as a philosophy, beyond any systematic and logical analysis? Why would such questions remain unanswered for such a long time? Finally, these three questions merge into one concrete question: What is the principle of Tao philosophy, if there is any?

Our initial interpretation reflects some similarities between Tao philosophy and the non-dualistic nature in modern sciences. That was published as the Dynamic Tao and Its Manifestations. Many observations in that book are still valid, but the notion that “Yu comes from Wu” is apparently assumed and is deemed incorrect after the analysis presented here. Soon afterwards, we were able to show the first analytic formulation as the Basic Theory of Tao Philosophy which shows the basic and the proper duality nature of Wu and Yu.[2] That article marks the beginning of a new “turn” in our search path. We realize that there is some principle emerging from the text of the Tao Te Ching. Instead of searching for all possible meanings of the individual verses, we start to search for a consistent principle behind the verses.

The Basic Theory seems a simple principle. After further comparative studies with other ancient East and West philosophies, our thoughts become mature and now we can present the principle and logic with clarity. Finally, a systematic model for Tao philosophy becomes possible. The Basic Theory is described as the Interaction Model in Chapter III.

The process to arrive at our current conclusion is strenuous and is not possible to describe here. In essence, it is a long iteration of our interpretations of the Tao Te Ching and an emerging principle. The iterations converge slowly to show the emerging principle. The final breakthroughs occur suddenly in the successful interpretation of Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching that allows us to extract a clear principle from this single Chapter! Most other Chapters may be treated as footnotes to this principle.

Of course, we may not think like our ancient philosophers in many ways; but, as far as the core principle of nature is concerned, this principle should remain unchanged and be recognizable in our current reading of the Tao Te Ching.

We shall formulate an intuitive model based on the principle of Tao. Pragmatically, we shall use a new and coherent interpretation of the Tao Te Ching as the proper and only validation for our model

[1]     A question precedes this question was “What can I leave behind to repay the society?”

[2]     We choose to use Yu instead of more common You as our translation of the Chinese character 有. This is for its symmetry with Wu. The correct ancient pronunciation of this character is of course controversial.

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