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Tao or Dao (, DOW; from Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào, [tâu] ( listen)) is a Chinese word signifying 'way', 'path', 'route', 'road', 'choose', 'key' or sometimes more loosely 'doctrine', 'principle' or 'holistic science' . Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, the Tao is the intuitive knowing of "life" that cannot be grasped full-heartedly as just a concept but is known nonetheless through actual living experience of one's everyday being. The Tao reverses the typical [cultural] order of values: it emphasizes the weak over the strong, the feminine over the masculine, the water that wears down the rock, the space between things rather than the things themselves.
Laozi in the Tao Te Ching explains that the Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the Universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe due to it being non conceptual yet evident' in one's being of aliveness. The Tao is "eternally nameless" (Tao Te Ching-32. Laozi) and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations, the reality of life before its descriptions of it.
The Tao lends its name to the religious tradition (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophical tradition (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) that are both referred to in English with the single term Taoism. Wikipedia