Welcome to The Path of Water

This site is dedicated to exploring the Tao and Philosophical Taoism; and how it relates to everyday modern life in the 21st Century. It also includes posts relating to how I feel Taoism can provide insights for dealing with the problems of everyday living.

The process of writing out my thoughts helps me to explore what I believe and why, so these posts will probably develop over time. I hope that you'll find this site interesting and, for those of you new to the Tao and Taoism, I hope that it can provide you with a first step on the path to a rich spiritual life. If you want to post comments relating to a post or the site as a whole I'd be grateful as all feedback is helpful.

Enjoy your visit - In Tao - Woody

Who would follow the Way must go beyond words.
Who would know the world must go beyond names. *

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. **

Monday, 17 November 2008


On the Reform Taoism forum a question was raised about what Taoism tells us about homosexuality and legal gay relationships. For what it's worth, here's my answer...

IMHO there's a few points here.... The first is that the Tao Te Ching is not a religious text in the same way as the Bible or Qur'an. It does not claim to be the "word of God" or some kind of infallible reference, but rather is the observations of either one or a group of people depending on what you believe. I like to think of it as a travel book, where the writer says "I did this to get where I wanted to go", and you can take from it what is useful to get you to the same destination, but it is not something to be blindly followed. If other texts pass any comment I don't know, but it would only be an opinion not a law. At the end of the day you are your own guide to the Tao.

Secondly Taoism is about finding your own way to live rather than telling others how they should live theirs. I see no way that two people having a consenting relationship affects me finding harmony with the Tao, so I don't see why what they do should be any of my business.

Finally, one of the foundations of Taoism is observation of nature. Apparently homosexual behaviour is common in nature and, while one should be cautious about reading too much meaning for humans in the behaviour of other species, it does make it difficult to claim that gay humans are "unnatural".


The Rambling Taoist said...

Superb answer! I particularly like the description of the Tao Te Ching as a travel book. That is such a useful description -- I may borrow it (with a proper citation, of course).

forest wisdom said...

This is a great blog! I found you through the Rambling Taoist. I'll be reading and be back to comment too, I'm sure. Thanks for this Taoist resource.