chapter  1
2 Pages

The Tao

It is characteristic o f the Western mind that it has no concept for Tao. The Chinese character is made up o f the character for ‘head’, and that for ‘going*. Wilhelm translates Tao by Sinn (Meaning) .2 Others translate it as ‘way’, ‘providence’, or even as ‘God’, as the Jesuits do. This shows the difficulty. ‘Head’ can be taken as consciousness,8 and ‘to go’ as travelling a way, thus the idea would be: to go consciously, or the conscious way. This agrees with the fact that ‘the light o f heaven’ which

‘dwells between the eyes’ as the ‘heart o f heaven’ is used synonymously with Tao. Human nature and life are contained in ‘the light o f heaven’ and, according to Liu Hua-yang, are the most important secrets o f the Tao. Now ‘light’ is the symbolical equivalent o f consciousness, and the nature o f consciousness is expressed by analogies with light. The Hui Ming Ching is introduced with the verse:

If thou wouldst complete the diamond body with no outflowing,

Diligently heat the roots o f consciousness1 and life. Kindle light in the blessed country ever close at hand, And there hidden, let thy true self always dwell.