Tao of Advertising #6 – If Lao Tzu were alive today

If Lao Tzu, the mythic originator of Taosim and author of the classic Tao Te Ching, were alive today, he would be like a kid in an infinite candy shop. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself.

One of Lao Tzu’s great gifts, and a fundamental aspect of Taoism, is the attunement to energy. He would delight over the equation e = mc2, which would indicate the fundamental inter-relationship between energy and matter. Perhaps he would counsel us to be aware of how the energy we transmit determines the energy we receive. He would teach us to sense and go with the natural flow in a situation, rather than push against it.

If we brought him to a modern advertising agency, he might counsel us not to push or sell a product, not to use force or shock or sheer might, but rather to use intuition and empathy to mold the energy of our brands and campaigns to “resonate” with our audiences. He would see our new technologies and devices as vehicles for transmission and reception of energy. He would recommend that we not be attached to the outcome of our work, but that we “do our work and let it go.”

And he would be quite tickled that his book of 2,500 years ago was still sold in bookstores all over the world, with new translations coming out online every year. Such is the power of ideas that are eternally repeatable and self-renewing memes.