The Tao Te Ching is so often terse and vague—especially the original Chinese. I expect one reason is that it points to a reality so often at odds with the story we want to hear. Revealing this point of view less obscurely would feel unsettling, even subversive, to many. Written the way it is allows for more flexibility in interpretation. Like clouds in the sky, the minds eye can more easily see the shapes it wants to see if they are not depicted too precisely, especially as we’re referring to the shape that has no shape. This makes it possible to accommodate more frames of reference without compromising the ‘truth’. Like silence, murky truth doesn’t foment resistance and argument. Instead, it simply evokes benign confusion and blank stares.