Teaching Tao ‘n’ Zen…

Teaching Tao ‘n’ Zen…

…We have a firm opinion about our strengths and weaknesses, we believe we know enough to know our character, and recognise our limits.  In this we know, strictly speaking, absolutely nothing.

What we “know” about ourselves, we have learnt through comparison.  All the characteristics that we have attributed to ourselves, we have taken using another person as our standard.  We only know how we are in comparison with other people.  We compare ourselves with what we have learnt, with what others have taught us, with how we are to be like, with how success is to be achieved, with how one should become educated or how others imagine we are to be or to behave.  Therefore even our behaviours are relative.  They orient themselves on those standards that are essentially relativistic….

Believe me, the average person has not the faintest idea, not a clue, what they really are.

– Theo Fischer –

I was going to comment on this quote, but I think I would rather let it stand, and allow you the space (if you wish) to attend to it and allow it to work on you, and your practice as teachers and teacher trainers.


  • Love the quote, Anthony, and I’m going to let it simmer with me this morning. Thank you !

    As I speak Chinese and am also a big fan of Taoism (both in its philosophy but also physical practices), I thought I’d just add a bit of the character background to “the Tao”.

    道 is pronounced as Dao (though ‘Tao’ was an early romanticization giving us our current spelling). It means the path, the way, and it’s one of those fun characters that can actually be understood etymologically as pictographs. The left part of the character used to actually be a pictograph of feet walking down a road. Characters containing this left part typically involve movement.

    The central part is actually a pictograph of a head. You can see the 自 which means “me/my person” but is actually a picture of a nose… which might be why when you ask a chinese student a question (and they’re not sure you’re asking them), they point at their nose and say “me” (whereas westerners will often point at their chest/heart).

    So, put the two together and you have a person walking down a path. I love Chinese 😉

    (just for fun… here’s how the character is written: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/%E9%81%93-order.gif)

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