Introduction

(Literary Masters)

For Laozi, the legendary author of the enigmatic aphorisms in this brief work, the Dao is the name for ultimate reality, yet the eternal Dao defies all names and descriptions. Images can only suggest its vast and mysterious creative potential. It is like water, giving and sustaining life, always moving, yet never striving.

While the essence of the Dao remains elusive and beyond our comprehension, we may observe the Dao as it reveals itself in the natural development of things. By stripping away our selfish desires and fears and accepting the world as it is, we can imitate the Dao and discover in ourselves De, or natural virtue and moral strength.

The person at one with the Dao gives unselfishly and effortlessly to others...

(The entire section is 271 words.)