What is Tao?

  • (noun): The ultimate principle of the universe.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Tao or Dao (/taʊ/, /daʊ/; Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophy (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Tao is thus "eternally nameless” (Dao De Jing-32. Laozi) and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations.

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Some articles on Tao:

Tao Yujia
... Tao Yujia (born 16 February 1987 in Jiujiang, Jiangxi) is a female Chinese sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres ... Tao represented China at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing competing at the 4x100 metres relay together with Wang Jing, Jiang Lan and Qin Wangping ...
Bagrat II Of Iberia
... was a Georgian prince of the Bagratid dynasty of Tao-Klarjeti and the titular king of Iberia-Kartli from 958 until his death ... and designed as heir by David III of Tao, thus setting stage for future unification of various Georgian polities into a single Bagratid realm ...
Chung Tao Yang
... Chung Tao Yang, or Chung-Tao Yang, Yang Zhongdao (Traditional Chinese 楊忠道, Simplified Chinese 杨忠道, Pinyin Yáng Zhòngdào) (1923–2005), was a notable Chinese American topologist ...
Love Blossoms II - Cast - Main Cast
... Chen Shucheng as Tao Dashun Ivy Lee as Tao Zijing Felicia Chin as Tao Haitong Zheng Geping as Yun Kaiwang Constance Song as Tao Linglan Koh Yah Hwee as Tao Wenzhu Terence ...
Tao, Mali
... Tao is a commune in the Cercle of Koutiala in the Sikasso Region of southern Mali ... The principal town lies at Fonfona ...

More definitions of "Tao":

  • (noun): An adherent of any branch of Taoism.
    Synonyms: Taoist