Tao Te Ching: Part 1
The Book of Dào
The first part of the Daodejing, the Book of Dào addresses the idea of the Way (Dào). The Way of the Daodejing refers to an intangible essence of the universe, described through poetic allusion and paradoxes. Beginning with a challenging and poetic puzzle for reader and translator alike1 the book leads readers into its envisioned mysteries of the universe.
1. Dào kě dào fēicháng Dào (道可道, 非常道), roughly "The Way that can be told/followed is not the Way." Aside from the paradox, there is an additional pun; the phrase used for "be told/followed" is also the word Dào. So, in a sense, the Way that is the Way is not the Way. Word puzzles like this fill the text, and encourage readers to try and resolve the contradictions.