What did Lao Tzu mean when he wrote in the Tao Te Ching, “Those who say, do not know. Those who know, do not say”?
In this series entitled What Did Lao Tzu Mean? are entertained some responses. You are welcome to include yours as a comment. This one is by Gene Poole, with a brief comment by Yosy.
What was stated is simply this:
The speaker is not the knower.
– speaking is a process which
the knower cannot do
– the speaker cannot know
– thus, the knower is served by the speaker.
‘The speaker is not the one who knows’
‘The knower is not the one who speaks’
As we have seen (but not knowing what we see?)
this boggle can be very confusing. An ‘audience’
usually assumes that the moving mouth, belongs
to the knower.
But that is not the fact, in the case of genuine ‘masters’.
I would go so far as to say that the speaker does not
know ‘jack shit’ about anything, except perhaps an
The knower has no mouth, and if desires to communicate,
must utilize some faculty of a living body. Thus, we have
a knower and a speaker.
It is this situation, which has led to centuries of
incredible confusion, and need I say, bullshit.
The ‘knower’ is one, but speakers are many.
If further clue is needed; if you do not grasp what
I have said above; here is a quote and a link:
“THE VESTURES (Verses 72–107)
“Formed of the substances they call marrow, bone, fat,
flesh, blood, skin and over-skin; fitted with greater
and lesser limbs, feet, breast, trunk, arms, back, head;
this is called the physical vesture by the wise–
the vesture whose authority, as “I” and “my” is declared to be a delusion.”
(Thus is described, the moving mouth; the speaker.)
The root of the article:
The article, a translation of an important text,
may seem complex, but it is not.
🙂 speech does not come necessarily from the mouth… and the only knowing is being.
“actions speak louder then words”.
there is knowledge, and there is speech; but there is no knower nor speaker.