The first sentence from the #DaoDeJing (道德经)that we normally know is:

道 可道 非常道 (dào  dào fēi cháng dào)

Way, one can be named is an extraordinary way.

(the challenge to translate traditional Chinese scripts to other languages, it’s underable that the meaning often can be narrowed by respective interpretation)

1973 many ancient scripts were discovered in the MaWangDui,an archaeological site located in Changsha from West Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD); a Dao De Jing was among discovered ancient scripts. In the MaWangDui DaoDeJing, the first sentence starts differently:

道 可道, 非恒道 (dào kě dào , fēi héng dào)
Way, one can be named, is not consistent way.

The discovery of MaWangDui DaoDeJing enlightens a new window of learning, not only some differences in the Chinese text, but there are also some texts are even against the text from the normal version that we learned before.

Before struggleing to think what is Dao (the way), perhaps we can explore why not-consistency is hard to understand, to comprehend and to accept.

Even though we named two parts as DaoDeJing (道德经)but according to the knowledge, LaoZi first wrote the DeJing (德经, 德 means Morals)before the DaoJing (道经,道 can also means path in life). To those who are interested to learn DaoDeJing, suggest to start from Chapter 38 (the beginning of DeJing 德经).