53. Paths and Methods Are Variable
‘Tao’ means the channel for people to move from one place to another and people can go to place B from place A.
‘Tao’ in Tao Te Ching means feasible methods and paths for people to transfer their current living state to another ideal and reasonable one efficiently, rapidly, and specifically, and it takes overall pattern and interests of all people into account with the least contradictions and least social resources consumed yet with maximum effects so that it conforms to human nature completely and it can be achieved by people.
‘Tao’ in Tao Te Ching means the paths for countries and all humans to embark on.
However, ‘Tao’ can mean health care of one person, known as ‘path of health care’, and methods of health care. Development of one enterprise can be known as developing path of the enterprise.
Business has business paths, kingdom has ruling paths, husband and wife have paths to follow, paths are existent in the world, and people have their own paths.
The author thought Tao Te Ching means the path of ruling one country originally in content and its other meanings are extended ones.
Truth can be known, but it may not be the well-known truth. As mentioned above, the author thought human nature is the developing path of the society and country; and knowledge level of people, technology level, and social development are determined by people’s cognition on themselves and nature as well as developing level of productivity. According to a specific situation of current stage, specific policies and methods can be made to adjust relations of people.
So paths will be changed with the changes of specific situation and paths are not constant. And path cannot be described specifically with language and words. As policies and methods are under constant changes, the ones that can be expressed with language and words are not permanent ones.
Perhaps, policies and methods can be completely abolished dozens of years later.
Path is just like our road filled with twists and turns. When people reach one stage, they will know the best scheme for the next stage.
So path cannot be expressed with language and path is not constant.
‘Tao’ just means methods that people think of so that ‘Tao’ is invisible.
As it is just a kind of method, thought, and concept, but not to be a visible thing and it is changed with the changes of time, path is very subtle.
However, policies and legal regulations are visible as they can be put into practice and produce huge effects on the specific life of people.
So path can be regarded to be existent under its specific implementation and people can sense the path of executors via policies and legal regulations of executors.
Policies and legal regulations, as concepts of execution, can be regarded as representatives of visibility and invisibility.
They are just two different aspects of one thing: external reflection form of ‘Tao’ and dominant thought of ‘Tao’.
So the two are from the same source, but they have their different names: one known as policies and the other known as concepts.
The two are changed constantly according to different situations. This is the source of all beautiful things.