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The term “The Way” in Taoism refers to the correct path to absolute enlightenment. “The Way” is a traditional set of values, beliefs, and principles that enable those who follow it to connect and unite with Tao. The concept of “The Way” is both religious and philosophical. Because it was created by Chinese traditional philosophy to describe various ways of achieving Tao, it can be viewed from a million different perspectives. To be more specific, “The Way” can be defined as something (a tool or a path) that a person seeking to understand Tao uses to achieve his or her goal.
I think that a good ruler should govern in a way that limits his activities to a minimum. That is because a government is best that governs less. For a ruler to be involved in any activity always means repairing and fixing something (problems, issues, conflicts). This means that a man’s rule is flawed and imperfect. And ideal ruler with a perfect capabilities best suited for it would maintain status quo of perfection without being involved in the resolving of conflicts (that cause even more conflicts). I also think that deeply Taoism teaches to accept such virtues as honesty, compassion, willingness, courage, and forgiveness crucial for any ruler who wants to be considered good.

I understand that the nature of Dao (Tao) is at the same time very complex and very easy. Dao is known when everything there is to know is known. Dao may be similar to “knowing” because it is panoptic, universal, and eternal (Ivanhoe, 30). Most of the teachings compare Dao to water that is flexible but can conquer, absorb, sustain, and mix with everything and anything.

I think that best qualities a person should attempt to obtain in order to live a good life are the following: honesty, compassion, forgiveness, and courage. In my opinion a person who keeps these qualities in mind and tries to implement them in life is doing a good work on becoming a real human being. Without honesty there is no way for people to communicate as any relationship is always built on trust. If I lie or am lied to it harms me because lies deprive me of truth and make me exist in illusion of what is true and false which is why I might be disoriented and, therefore, make incorrect choices in life based on the mistaken information. Compassion is similar to love because to be compassionate means attempting to feel what other person feels – the exclusive feature of humankind. Forgiveness is important because people like to hold onto their grudges and because of it become cynical, numb, and nihilistic in their approach to people and the world. Therefore, one must forgive in order to live further and let others think of their future (forgive and be forgiven). Finally, without courage one might be too apathetic or afraid to implement other virtues. I truly think that these qualities can help a person to live a good life.

The way does nothing but nothing is left undone (Ivanhoe, 40). This is paradoxical but 100% true because as I think life can only be understood in paradoxes. Even though they contradict logic of the western civilization and science paradoxes are important for understand eastern religious teachings. The way does everything but because it does everything there is to done its effects are not seen. This can be compared to the moving of our Earth. Even though I don’t feel that it moves it still moves but I cannot feel it because it moves all the times and everywhere and because I move along with it as well.

The book of Laozi is a work of tremendous religious and philosophical value. It contains wisdom that cannot be measured in terms and definitions but is great in its simple complexity. More than anything else Daodejing teaches how to live a life, how to accept death, and how to approach people which is everything a person needs to know to be at peace.

Works Cited

Ivanhoe, P. The Daodejing of Laozi. Chicago: Heckett Publishing, 2003.

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