The Tao is the mystery hidden from all eternity which Lao Tzu sensed. He found a mysterious presence in living beings, in mountain crags, flowing streams, the morning fog, the growing bamboo, the spring plum and falling leaves. He did not see the mystery but sensed its presence. So, when we read his words we are also led to sense this mystery which underlies the world we live in.
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In silence and in the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know it name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great. 58
The book of Wisdom speaks of the same reality but calls her Wisdom. This book was written by a Jew in Alexandria, Egypt, about about 400 years after Lao Tzu. Unlike Lao Tzu who sought the mystery in the nature of things. Our author,however, based his insight into God's Wisdom on the writing and tradition of the Jewish people to whom God had revealed himself. He personifies Wisdom and sees Wisdom as his teacher, that is, having an influence in what he is writing.
"[Wisdom] is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique,
manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered,
firm, secure, tranquil,
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things
by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty; ...."
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring." (Ws 7:22-27)
Image of Tao