The appearance of Virtue in its fullest exuberance is no more than the result of compliance with the Tao. Tao, considered as an entity, is obscure and vague. Vague and obscure! yet within it there is Form. Obscure and vague! yet within it there is Substance. Vacuous and unfathomable! yet within it there is Quintessential Energy — and this is supremely real. Within it, too, there is Trustworthiness; from ancient down to modern times its name has never been lost; by it I can include in the range of my observation the whole of animate nature. How am I cognisant of the acquiescence of animate nature [in Tao]? — by Tao itself. — from The Tao Te Ching, chapter 21

Lao Tzu (6th Century B.C.) was a Chinese poet, mystic, and philosopher whose best known work, The Tao Te Ching (although some challenge his authorship), has established him as the founder of Taoism. Considered a god by Taoists, Lao Tzu sought to explain the origins of the universe through the paradoxical concept of the Tao. Personified by the familiar symbol of the Yin-Yang, which first appears in Chinese literature in
The Tao Te Ching, chapter 42 — the same number that English sandwich-maker and tea-drinker Arthur Dent discovers as the secret to the universe.


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