The Ancient, Timeless Wisdom for a Harmonious Humanity Without Religion or Blind Faith

How to live in a meaningful way and in harmony with all things.

Darren Stehle
6 min readMar 10


Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

“The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.” (1)

The Tao Te Ching Is Not a Religious Text.

It is neither religion nor a creed, neither dogma nor ideology. It doesn’t proclaim to sit on either side of right or wrong, yet it demonstrates the dualistic outcomes of our actions and moral choices — allowing the reader to choose a more humane path of oneness, one leading towards harmony, like the natural flow of a river.

The Tao is not a ‘divine’ text.

No single verse refers to a higher power. The wisdom of the Tao has not been handed down from an enlightened sage who received communication from above in the form of commandments or divine inspiration. Instead, the Tao is like a witness statement, a way of perceiving the world and recognizing oneself as an integrated, connected, and natural part of the self-same world you observe.

The Tao teaches that we are as much a part of the world as the world is a part of who we are.

As Alan Watts has said that we are not born into this world. We are born of this world, like the leaf that is given life by the tree.

The Tao teaches with metaphor and the paradox of dualities — how we can intellectually perceive the world — and how we can live together harmoniously. By ‘we’ I mean human beings and all living creatures regardless of form, and how we can be respectful of the planet’s ecosystem by seeing ourselves as of this earth and dependent upon the planet that nourishes us.

Every action has a corresponding action, a re-action that is not unlike the butterfly effect. We must take great care to minimize our disruptive actions that harm the organic entity we call earth — our only true home.

The Tao teaches how we can live in harmony with the natural world and all other beings without…



Darren Stehle

Thinking Partnership Coach for Queer Change-Makers. I write about: actionable self-mastery; morals & ethics; LGBTQ+ rights & advocacy.