Question: Derek, in chapter 39 there is a line that says rulers called themselves “alone, bereft, and unworthy.” Can you shed some light on how these terms originated? Answer: In the original Chinese, these terms were gu, gua, and bu Continue reading Ancient Rulers
Question: Derek, I understand your point about chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching – you have explained that great changes are made slowly, as gradual accumulations from many small steps. However, this seems to contradict self-help books and gurus Continue reading Change in an Instant?
Question: Derek, I have studied many holy books. Each one has to be understood as the product of its time. In many ways, the ancients understood the world very differently than we do. It is therefore necessary for us to Continue reading Holy Books
Question: Derek, in your commentaries you seem quite certain about the meaning of the passages, but isn’t the Tao supposed to be mysterious and unknowable? Is it not true that the ancient sages embraced uncertainty and ambiguity to allow for Continue reading Clarity
Question: Derek, next month I am expected to lead a group discussion on a spiritual topic of my choice. I thought maybe I can use your books for that, but I’ve never done anything like it before. Can you give Continue reading How to Lead a Tao Discussion
Question: Derek, I am currently reading Sun Tzu, and I am wondering how it is connected to the Tao. I think the title “The Art of War” may be an important clue, because the Tao is all about the art Continue reading Sun Tzu
Question: Derek, the Tao is all-encompassing, so even the extremes are included within the whole, including all the negative things in life. So is it wrong for somebody to defend their own hurtful actions as being a legitimate part of Continue reading The Negative Aspects of Life
Question: Derek, I have a friend who is always late. He studies the Tao and says he is only following his nature. For him, rushing to be on time is going against the flow and completely unnecessary. I have a Continue reading Tardiness and the Tao