“I do not Instruct the Uninterested”
I would be in complete support of the master’s words of wisdom. Even today, it is only possible to instruct a person who has the will to learn. What the master taught at the time is still not debatable. It does not matter what subject one is being taught, what is important is that the person being taught is ready to listen and has the will to learn. It is a reality that it does not matter the caste or the level in society a person is, as long as one is not willing to learn, then he or she cannot be effectively instructed (Soccio 36). Effective instruction begins with developing an interest in the subject matter. Hence, even if you force a person who does not have any interest, he or she cannot learn or understand whatever is being taught.
Trying is key to instruction, even for those who have challenges in learning and understanding whatever is being taught. Interest in the subject is also a source of motivation for the person doing the instruction. It encourages the master to continue imparting knowledge to the interested parties. Hence, the words of wisdom from the master remain relevant in all settings where teaching and learning takes place. No matter how challenging the subject is, trying should be the main goal for any student or learner. However, I do not agree with the master that he should drop any person who does not appear to understand what is being taught (Soccio 36). The love for teaching should be felt by all students, including those who do not have a sharp mind, as long as they are interested in learning.
The Tao te Ching
The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things (Soccio 26).
The first line can be translated to mean that there cannot be explained in any words. If it can be trodden, then it is not the original or the unchanging Tao. Clearly, Tao originated before the words developed that could be used in explaining it. Hence, anyone who claims to have the words to explain or define the Tao, he or she is not speaking about the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The second line means that if there is a name that can be used in defining the Tao, then that name is not in the original Tao. There are no words available to define the eternal, unchanging Tao. The constant, eternally unchanging real Tao does not have any name that can be used in defining or describing it. Tao is not a thing that can be named.
Before creation, no name was in existence. Hence, the Tao is nameless because it relates to the origin of the Heaven and Earth. The nameless Tao is from which creation of the universe occurred. Hence, it is useless to spend time trying to name or define something that cannot be named and instead try to understand ourselves (develop self-awareness).
When people start naming things, then they will come up with many different things that can be named and explained. However, the original and unchangeable Tao should not be among those things because if people start coming up with a name for it, it will lose its original meaning. It is only through natural processes that Tao gets its manifestation in the physical universe. At that point, it emerges with many different meanings and gives birth to very many other things.
Soccio, Douglas J. Archetypes of wisdom: An introduction to philosophy. Nelson Education, 2015.