Tao is the one, the never ending succession.
Yuan Lao Chien Ren (袁翥鶚理事長)
2nd Chairman of the Board
World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters
Legend has it that when Edison, the king of invention, had his 80th birthday party, many guests came to celebrate. They all expressed their admiration and congratulated him. One guest asked him, “Sir Edison, which of the two thousand inventions in your life do you think is the greatest?” Edison thought for a moment and solemnly replied, “I think the world’s greatest invention is not a large and complex machine, but a humble grass. We humans so far cannot make a grass out of dirt. Moreover, what the most surprising is that this grass manufacturing process does not make any sound.” The grass can be said to be a masterpiece of God. In fact, as small as a blade of grass, as large as the entire universe, all that exists has been created like this. Our Chinese culture calls the inconceivable force prior to the heaven and earth as “Tao.”
The so-called Tao did not really have a name. It existed before the heaven and earth and was the beginning of the heaven and earth as well as the original source of all that exists. Although it is absolute nothingness, it is ultimate reality. Although it is absolute non-existence, it is ultimate existence. Although it has a name that cannot be labeled, it creates all the phenomena that can be labeled.
The ancient sages realized the true meaning of great Tao and practiced it so that they could pass on the spirit of great Tao to future generations. It had become the timeless moral value of our Chinese culture. Saints knew very well that material possessions and fame, private knowledge and delusions, right and wrong, and love and resentment are all unreal. They all depend on other things for their existence. Once fall into it, we will forget the way home. Only when we transform ourselves, can we return to the original source of life. Just like the Tao of heaven that nurtures all things without harm, the Tao of saints is giving unconditionally without calculations or complaints.
In the history of our Chinese cultural legends, the first saint was 伏羲氏. After that, there were saints in every generation. Regardless of east and regardless of west, Tao is essentially one. If we practice Tao, we will pass it on to future generations.
Until the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, the ninth Patriarch Huang Der-Hui (黄德辉) founded “A Priori Tao” which was the foundation of modern I-Kuan Tao. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the fifteenth generation founder 王觉一 advocated the principle that three religions are consistent and that Confucianism is the fundamental theory of I-Kuan Tao. The sixteenth Patriarch Lu, Ching Xiu (刘清虚) formally used the name “I-Kuan Tao”. Through the seventeenth Patriarch Lu, Zhong-yi's (路中一) steady expansion, and then in 1930, the eighteenth Patriarch Zhang, Tien-ran (张天然) and Sun, Hui-ming's (孙慧明) revolution of the temple, from mainland China to Taiwan, from Asia to the world, now I-Kuan Tao has been known as a world religion in a modern sense.
I had the opportunity to participate in the development of I-Kuan Tao in mainland China and the honor to follow Predecessor Chang, the first president of the Republic of China I-Kuan Tao General Association and the World I-Kuan Tao Headquarters, to preach I-Kuan Tao from mainland China to Taiwan, and even to the entire world. I personally experienced I-Kuan Tao in recent a hundred years growing from non-existence to existence, from mere existence to a great expansion. It is impossible to describe the hardships as well as sweetness in this experience in words.
Now it is the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. To meet the needs of a series activities of “Love in Taiwan” organized by the Ministry of Interior, the Republic of China I-Kuan Tao General Association produced a DVD and commemorate photo files to record the major events of I-Kuan Tao in last 100 years, and published a special issue of newsletter to celebrate the great achievements.
The development of a nation is usually difficult and bumpy before it can manifest its shinning and magnificent glory. The development of a religion usually goes through difficulties and hardships before it can grow rapidly. There is no exception with the development of I-Kuan Tao. Of course, how to adapt to new times according to Tao and constantly innovate is the key to pass it on to thousands of future generations.
As the special issue of a century of major events of I-Kuan Tao is about to be published, the Headquarters asked me to write a preface. I wrote the above paragraphs respectfully. I would like to invite the elites from all the fields and fellow temple disciples to work together to promote the moral values of Chinese culture and contribute to the great harmony of the world as well as human’s eternal peace and prosperity.