In this session we will read chapter 25 of the Laozi which begins with a description of the Dao in its undifferentiated state. We will consider the various interpretations of this passage  and what it contributes to our understanding of the Dao. The discussion will also focus on the term ziran (natural, spontaneous, self-so). This is one of the Daode jing’s most distinctive terms and although mentioned in other parts of the text, it is in this chapter that its significance becomes clear.

Humans follow earth
Earth follows heaven
Heaven follows Dao
Dao follows what is so of itself (ziran)