An Exposition of Laozi’s “Essence of Dao” by Yun Choi Yeung

Yun Choi Yeung is from Hong Kong and has been living in the United Kingdom since October 2010. In 2015, she contributed “Enlightenment and Discernment to the blog of Quaker Universalist Fellowship, affirming that “in Quakerism, enlightenment or conversion is just the beginning of discernment.” Currently Yun is working on a biblical exposition of Laozi’s “Essence of Dao.”

An Exposition of Laozi’s “Essence of Dao” is the first part of that work.  Yun writes:

“From a monotheistic culture without direct revelation, Laozi was trying to make sense of what was going on in his time in China, when the country was divided and fighting one another. Is it the will of heaven, or it is just the corruption of humankind?

“His ideas are very interesting when compared with those of a monotheistic culture which does describe direct revelations: law given by the God without a name; spiritual communities developed by the law of the Spirit; and a new commandment to love one another according to the love of Christ.”

Laozi’s "Essence of Dao" – Chapter 1 of the excavated text of
Daodejing: Mawangdui Text A1


Source: (accessed on 20 May 2020)

The word that can be spoken is not the eternal word; the name that can be categorized is not the eternal name. The nameless is the origin of all things, and the named gives birth to all things. Therefore, if you have no desire to understand eternity with your intellect then down to the smallest detail will be observable; if you have desire to understand eternity with your intellect then you will observe a lot of loud noises. The “have” and “have not” are different but from the same source. Eternity is mystery upon mystery; from “have” to “have not” is the door to understanding for everyone.

Read more….

Image: 畫老子騎牛 – Painting Laozi riding a cow, photo by getaiwan on flickr [Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic].

Views: 85

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks to Mike for this post. I read the original posting by Yun Choi Yeung with interest, especially as I have often been intrigued and confused by the writing of Laozi's "Essense of the Dao." The facts Yun relates explain how his words changed through the written characters' interpretation and reinterpretation. This helped me understand more what was "his" original intent. (Even though I understand no one knows whether what writings we have in fact came from one historic individual; which similarly parallels  the Gospel of Christ as we know it today, being brought to us through many later voices; as in the words of his Disciples we find today in the Bible with many different translations.) I liked the idea of a message from Laozi being similar to that Quaker understanding of the voice of Christ or Light which is accessible to all of us through silent worship.

Thanks very much, Marcia. I will share your comment with Yun Choi Yeung.  Blessings, Mike

Reply to Discussion


Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.

You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Chris Holmes updated their profile
1st day (Sun)
TJ Victor updated their profile
1st month 9
Kirby Urner replied to Kirby Urner's discussion 'Exhibit: some Friends discussing Racism'
"Me on Facebook, Jan 2,…"
1st month 2
Keith Saylor commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"I forgot to add, Whittier's reference to Mezentius and his struggle…"
12th month 29, 2020
Keith Saylor commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"Whittier, in his 1833 Justice and Prejudice, writes: "Far be it from me to cast new…"
12th month 29, 2020
Forrest Curo commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"We don't get wars because God wants to harm us, but because the way we are still leads to harm…"
12th month 29, 2020
Rainer Möller commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"Many thanks to you, Keith Saylor As for the poem, it poses a lot of questions: Was…"
12th month 28, 2020
Keith Saylor commented on Rainer Möller's blog post 'Quakers unto the Civil War'
"Hello Rainer, Thank you for pointing to In War Time. I've read it a couple times now. Need to…"
12th month 26, 2020

© 2021   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service