Derek Lin gives perspective on the Tao

From the Introduction of Lin’s book Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained

In the West, the Tao has veered away from its generic roots and taken on an aura of exotic mystique. Those of us who cling to this misconception may be surprised to encounter Asians who casually speak of the Tao of Jesus or the Tao of Science. On the other hand, if we connect with the original meaning, we will see that the Tao is truly for everyone, regardless of religious orientation — or lack thereof.

Furthermore, understanding the Tao helps remove us from a frame of mind that demands strict dualistic, either-or categories. To a mind that works in such dualisms, the question “Do you believe in God?” may be perfectly sensible. Yet, from the all-encompassing Taoist point of view, asking “Do you believe in the Tao?” makes as much sense as “Do you believe in your height?” Everyone has a certain height; this is something not subject to belief or disbelief. Similarly, everyone has a particular way — a uniquely individual outlook on life — and there is nothing we can do to affirm or deny it. Therefore, no one has to abandon or compromise his or her faith in order to “believe” in the Tao. Your Tao has always been and will always be a part of you.


The page Tao Te Ching is now complete.

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