Can not be taught.
It must be felt.
Tao means "the way" or "the path".
Such is the way that it is explained. Funny enough, once you try to explain anymore about it, it feels trite. Half there, and empty in explanation. You feel like your cheating your audience. Funny enough, I felt this way when I was taught organized religion, and now that I get to look back on the teachings that I still remember, they have so much more value. I have facites within my structure of the Tao that articulate and enuciate the particulate of the Bible.
Another underlining theme is the idea that you use action with inaction. In other words you cause things to happen by NOT creating the cause or maybe more correctly, not answering the cause and just filling in your part. Don’t rock the boat could be a very limiting view point of this (back when constant bantering, the very alive communication was only in the bar and even then you could find the reflective, the quiet zen, inaction was not such a strange thought, now-days, there is a constant exchange of energy, I would say that since global conciousness, immediate converstation is almost current, it is so much more impossible to describe the Tao as a being contained within inaction). If I could modernize this, it would be the notion that you notice the need and that life creates the pieces that fill the void that has just been instantiated. The puzzle wants to be solved does it not? Isn’t that why we are all here? How else is that not the case?
Wikipedia has a nice way of putting this modernly (I read a really old book about it – still am), wu wei (effortless action), literal translation without action and is often said as, wei wu wei (action without action) in teachings. Action, if truely effortless, looks like inaction as you can really tell if they did it, or if it happened of its own accord. That might be the eccense of the idea, that the universe moves for you, and in that, even though things have happened, you didn’t directly cause them and in fact, look comfortable in your non-motion.
In life there is entropy. Entropy is the explination for the chaos that is innately within all life. Generally, the less entropy there is in system, then the more order there is. The energy that animates the existence is merely an action within a container, within an order array. Some molecules or atoms, even systems have quite a lot of stability desire and yet, most systems are quite volital given the evironment. The thing is, after this big bang, this extreme release of energy and expansion throughout the known universe, after matter is strewn out into the void, after things start to collect and order themselves inside galaxies, suns, planets, and stuctures of our universe, there was an order keeping and guiding certain things towards the end that they met.
Degrees of chance? More or less. In what I can only describe as a tunneling of direction (life is direction and momentum (attraction could be added here) – break it down to its smallest piece or take it to its largest amount – these three help make up what causes this entity to interact the way it does), somewhat like a funnel, all things are guided towards and end. Evolution is merely a description of that effect. Suns eat planets. They eat each other, and the stronger one wins. It "breeds" and grows. The energies that were contained within are now shared and spread to its constiuents.
Fate is not totalitarian. I am not sure this exists within the Tao, other than, Tao might be considered fate. Fate would just be an attribute, and since it isn’t a governing body in the flow (another description for how the Tao passes) then it can’t really be said to govern your life. You are a part of this too, but in that, to have as much harmony (to synchronize with the energy waves) with the Tao (the energy life force we are all a part of) gives you a certain deciding factor or specifically, helps you not be concerned with the outcome and generally, helps improve the outcome.
Think this way, if you could think of life as being this great flow we are a part of, then if you were able to coast within the flow, using the eddies, using the dips, and using the white-water in its most effective (to each their own flow and to each their own best method) way of transport, you should probably have a fairly good grasp of the Tao. Also, you might notice that if you swim against the current or make turbulent actions within a flow of this current, the water around you and behind you is sullied with chaos and disorder. You have disrupted the harmony of the flow of the Tao river.
Hope you enjoyed this rough modernization and my personal + wikipedia’s notes, interpretation of Taoism. To each their own, as in my eyes, many other Taoists, a few other organized religions, it is all one and to see it seperately is to remove yourself from it (to remove yourself from Him to some).
I will imagetize this in the morning, there will be improvements.