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18 March 2010

Tao Thursday

I am going to implement Tao Thursdays.  For those of you unaware of what the Tao is, here is a short explanation per Wikipedia:

Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced Eastern Asia for more than two millennia, and have had a notable influence on the western world since the 19th century. The word 道, Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanization scheme), literally translated as "path" or "way", although in Chinese folk religion and philosophy it carries more abstract meanings. Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应), health and longevity, and wu wei (action through inaction), which is thought to produce harmony with the universe.

I am very interested in Taoism, and try to use its philosophies in every day life.  Today I will begin with my favorite passages from the Tao Teh Ching (a piece of scripture of Taoism).  It is #11 and this is how it goes in a translation from John C. H. Wu's book Tao Teh Ching:

Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.

We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vesself that makes it useful.

We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is these empty spaces that make the room livable.

Thus, while the tangible has advantages,
It is the intangible that makes it useful.

So how do I relate this to writing, you may ask?  Well this, lets call it a proverb, reminds me that it is not just the words that make up a manuscript - it is the feeling behind the words, the emotion, the connection an author has with the words - that is important.  We can get too worried about word counts and forget about what we're actually writing.  I know that happens to me.  I feel the pressure of everyone else's accomplishments and start getting fearful and insecure about my work.  This proverb helps me stay focused on what's important.  Hope it can help you!  Any thoughts?  Leave a comment!

Toast of the Day:
Here's to reading something you really liked an realizing you wrote it!!!


  1. Thank you for the knowledge!!!

    Haha I love your toast, sometimes it is amazing to realize you wrote something that people actually want to read!!!

  2. Sounds like a great idea, remembering that it's not the words we right, but the feelings they evoke. Love that! Bring on the tao!

  3. I'm glad you liked my Taoism, I was worried it'd be too heavy. Guess it worked out! Thanks again for the comments!! Love them!



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