of someone living in harmony with the Tao,
why does he avoid company?
Has he not learned to deal with men?
This is the first of 16 verses (157-172) in which the poet poses a paradox and invites an answer, preferrable within the context of Taoist philosophy. I promise to not afflict you with my thoughts about all 16 verses; but i feel inclined to pose a possible answer to this one. This answer is totally outside Taoist philosophy,
Dr. Asperger suggested that people with a touch of genius might also have a touch of autism.
we autistic folk have asked ourselves whether cerain great thinkers of the past might have been autistic. Lao Tse's name has been included in some such speculations. One of the symptoms of autism is difficulty forming and maintaining relationships with other human beings. Apparemtly our brains are wired so as to pay more attention to the non- human environment than to the human beings in it. For "neurotypicals" it is the opposite. Why am i attracted to the Tao Te Ching so much more than to other writings. Is it because i share Lao Tse's "deficit?" Perhaps we have the same problem with people which is more biological than philosophical?