Taoteching 1

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Taoteching 1

Tahoma, Mother of Waters

In the beginning was the nameless Way. The nameless Way gave birth to things. Things gave birth to namers of things. Namers of things gave the nameless Way a name. Behold: Wisdom

The woman of Wisdom does not carry any baggage from her past and she does not accumulate things from the present. So nothing can burn her in the future. It may seem utterly boring to the mediocre man but it is absolute freedom.

No one can understand the woman of Wisdom, anymore than one can understand a river by dipping a foot into it. This is because one's foot creates eddies which have reverberations further downstream, and not all of these consequences can be foreseen. In chaotic systems small events in the beginning sometimes precipitate great events at the end. Who can tell if the flapping of a butterfly's wings does not eventually lead to a destructive whirlwind? In the same way the woman of Wisdom eludes understanding, because the very act of trying to understand her changes her.


Gabhopper said, "My parents are upset that I've been accepted as your apprentice, Xena. They say the Way of the Warrior is no life for their daughter."

Xena answered, "It is called the Way of the Warrior, but it is really the Path of Armed Struggle."

"Well, the Path of Armed Struggle, then."

"It is called the Path of Armed Struggle, but it is really the Way of the Warrior."

"Now you're talking in circles!" Gabhopper objected.

"I am not Talking In Circles, I am still Woman Who Instructs. You are a labelist!"

"But by calling me a labelist, aren't you assigning a label?"

"You are very close to it, Gabhopper. People, even sages, cannot talk about things until they assign names to them. Tell me, before there were people, did a tree have the name "tree," or a rock the name "rock?"

"No, of course not, Xena."

"Then if a tree or a rock had no names before there were people, how much less so did my path have a name before there were trees and rocks."

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