The TAO in Everyday Life
The TAO is in every aspect of life: growing up; receiving education; seeking careers; getting married; raising children; connecting with others; staying healthy; growing old; and facing life challenges.
                               THE TAO IN EDUCATION

Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge. Being more knowledgeable may be "paradoxical" in that the more knowledgeable you are, the less you know: that is, the more you know, the "less" you know because you are living in a world of unlimited knowledge. This paradox may eliminate the ego, giving you the humility to want to learn more and much more.

But being knowledgeable may also be instrumental in enhancing the ego of an individual, making that individual feel he or she is different from others because of his or her acquired knowledge. This "separation from others" means the inflated ego of that individual must somehow be gratified first no matter what. This is the negative impact of being knowledgeable.

The reality

The reality is that knowledge is power. We must all acquire knowledge to increase the power of our thinking mind in order to thrive and survive in this world full of false information and misinformation, intertwined with many conspiracy theories. We must know how to separate the sheep from the goats.

The truth of the matter is that the learning process may be difficult for many. Feelings of imperfection and inadequacy through comparison with others may result in non-doing. Giving up learning is often the precursor of self-abandonment of hope, and even self-destruction of one's life and living. With no skill and no  expertise, there is no means of making a living, not to mention living with a purpose. Not learning anything is often a path to committing crimes and violence.


Wisdom is power; knowledge is only strength.

According to the TAO, the most important thing in learning is to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom: how and why they are different.

“Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing ourselves is true wisdom.
Overcoming others is strength.
Overcoming ourselves is true power."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 33)

Knowledge is intelligence, giving you the know-how to follow. Wisdom is power to understand, to internalize, and to intuit.

With wisdom, you may know how to be in the world and not of the world because you see your true self and the realities of all things as they come and go.

Humility is your friend, while pride is your enemy: Be who you really are, and not who you wish you were; so, do not compare yourself with others.

“Fame or self, which is dearer?
Self or wealth, which is greater?
Gain or loss, which is more painful?

Accumulating or letting go, which causes more suffering?
Looking for status and security, we find only suffering.
Knowing our true nature, we find joy and peace.
With nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to us.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 44)

"Good fortune and misfortune are all in one.
Seeking one and rejecting the other,
we become completely confused.
Striving for goodness and righteousness,
we become evil and wicked."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 58)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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