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Book Name: Tao - The Golden Gate, Vol 1Previous     Next

simply means the ultimate principle that binds the whole existence together. The existence is not a chaos that much is certain; it is a cosmos. There is immense order in it, intrinsic order in it, and the name of that order is Tao. Tao simply means the harmony of the whole. No temples have been built for Tao; no statues, no prayers, no priests, no rituals -- that's the beauty of it. Hence I don't call it a doctrine, nor do I call it a religion, it is a pure insight. You can call it Dharma; that is Buddha's word for Tao. The word in English that comes closer or closest to Tao is "Nature" with a capital N.

This profound insight is also one of the smallest treatises ever written. It is so condensed -- it is as if millions of roses have been condensed in a drop of perfume. That's the ancient way of expressing truth: because books were not in existence, people had to remember it.

It is said that this is the first mystic treatise ever written down as a book. It is not much of a book, not more than one and a half pages, but it existed for thousands of years before it was written. It existed through private and personal communion. That has been always the most significant way to transmit truth. To write it down makes it more difficult because then one never knows who will be reading it; it loses all personal contact and touch.

In Egypt, in India, in China, in all the ancient civilizations, for thousands of years the mystic message was carried from one person to another, from the Master to the disciple. And the Master would say these things only when the disciple was ready, or he would say only as much as the disciple could digest. Otherwise words can also produce diarrhea they certainly do produce it -- our century suffers very much from it. All the mystics for centuries resisted writing down their insights.

This was the first treatise ever written; that's its significance. It marks a certain change in human consciousness, a change which was going to prove of great importance later on because even though it is beautiful to commune directly, person to person, the message cannot reach many people; many are bound to miss. Yes, it will not fall in

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