This symbol of Taoism reveals the essence of Taoism. Tao, in Chinese, literally means the (right) way. The Tao is the way, the nature, of reality; the way of the universe; and the harmonious way or path through life.

The circle represents the universe. Within the universe are two seemingly independent abstract fish forms, in shades black and white, that are actually interdependent as curled together they form the universe as a whole. The fish represent life, consciousness, which is what makes the universe whole.

Each fish has an eye, black or white, reflecting the shade of the other. Looking eye to eye, each sees its own shade in the other. Likewise, when we look in the eye of others, we see ourselves.

The way through the life, along the interface of the white and black forms, is everchanging; bending left and bending right; requiring us to be conscious of our way, lest get lost in the white or black forms.

Ultimately, the symbol of the Tao implies all things in the universe are interdependent; the path through life is everchanging; however, life is in balance, harmonious, when we consciously move between counterbalancing forms.

Another interpretation is the symbol represents two animals engaged in a sexual position commonly known as “69.” If so, the message there is that a happy way to make it through life is simply enjoy yourself.

As above, the Tao acknowledges there are different ways for different people.