tao on the road (part one)

both in its name and associated meanings It’s no coincidence that taoism can be quite literally linked to roads, paths, routes and travel. the word tao in closest english translation is represented by the notion ‘of the road’ and as such there is arguably both an external and internal meaning, which can be applied – nor is it strictly limited by a singular interpretation of. through interpretations of travel one can imagine a wise embodiment of the timeless Zhang (a personal favourite among the mythological eight tao immortals) wandering both in the outer and inner worlds of reflected experience, from place/space to place/space, gaining insight and an explored wonderment of our living world.

through depictions of nature there are exemplars of tao that give us ideas of what tao might come to mean or at closest what it might hint at. in taoism there is often arguably the undercurrent of connection with others or nature, experienced through meaningful observations, funny stories and moments of shared surprise (insight) whether it be transient, temporal or longer lasting in its effect. there is at some level of thought a paradox that can exist both in ideas of what it means to travel beyond one’s own real world physical front door and the imagined one or not as it maybe and only in so much as what can be learnt internally and externally from and being with self.

there is a physicality to taoism that goes beyond an ambiguity of words and thought, in this understanding is the connection of comprehension grounded in our surroundings and the responses with how the world reacts to us as humans. in taoistic debate no matter the distance, location or time spent travelling/ journey each of its mentioned components all paradoxically matter and simultaneously don’t have to matter. what is clear is the road as a function of learning is one’s own to take and thus its meaning is for ourselves to comprehend.

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