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The soft overcomes the hard. --Tao Te King. Postcard

The soft overcomes the hard. --Tao Te King. Postcard

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Tao. The soft overcomes the hard. The calm overcomes the fast. --Tao Te King. Tree on mountaintop.

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In Taoism, Tao both precedes and encompasses the universe. As with other nondualistic philosophies, all the observable objects in the world - referred to in the Tao Te Ching as 'the named' or 'the ten thousand things' - are considered to be manifestations of Tao, and can only operate within the boundaries of Tao. Tao is, by contrast, often referred to as 'the nameless', because neither it nor its principles can ever be adequately expressed in words.
While the Tao cannot be expressed, Taoism holds that it can be known, and its principles can be followed. Much of Taoist writing focuses on the value of following the Tao - called Te (virtue) - and of the ultimate uselessness of trying to understand or control Tao outright. This is often expressed through yin and yang arguments, where every action creates a counter-action as a natural, unavoidable movement within manifestations of the Tao.

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