This is what Tao is not:

  • It is not a thing.
  • It is not a sound or any other vibration.
  • It is not divisible into parts.
  • It does not change.
  • It cannot be diluted or augmented.
  • It has no partner or complement.

This is what Tao is:

  • It is one; it is unity.
  • It determines everything.
  • It comes before everything.
  • It is the law of everything.

The clearest, most helpful word I know to use for Tao is How, because Tao is the principle of how everything works.

Remember that while it has no form or qualities, it is everywhere, all the time, forever.

Imagine four levels of infinity: people are infinite in a sense; the earth is infinite’ the cosmos is infinite; Tao is infinite. Although each of these four may be infinite in a way, the first three are subject to the next greater one.

People are dependent on the earth. The earth is dependent on the cosmos. The cosmos is dependent on Tao.

But Tao is not dependent on anything.

Source: The Tao of Leadership – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider

“Tao is great. Heaven is great. Earth is great. Humanity is great. Within the universe, these are the four great things: Humanity follows the earth. Earth follows Heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. The Tao follows the Nature.” – Tao Te Ching


Timothy J. Carroll works with world-class leaders, elite athletes and teams to dramatically develop their people and performance. He has been doing so for the last 20 years. In 2008, he attended the Olympics in China as a performance coach. Several years ago, he started consulting with Schneider Electric’s Leadership. Some other clients include Phillips Lighting, Rockwell Automation, KAEFER Group (some nice Dutch companies). His expertise is helping leaders & their people to explode their performance, rapidly growing their businesses.


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