The title is a phonetic rendering of the spiritual classic, ‘Tao Te Ching’.
A more literal rendering would be, ‘How of the King’
All of which is widely known.
A little less known, perhaps, is that the text is an alchemical treatise.
Therefore, the king that it treats of in such fine detail is not necessarily an outer monarch of earthly empire.
The same can be said of many of the world’s spiritual teachings.
The compilers of these classic texts seem more than well acqainted with the maxim, ‘to transform the outer, change the inner.’
As, presumably, were the transcribers of the following Vedic tradition:
‘…The Demon Lord Bali had overcome Indra, Lord of the Gods and was enjoying the Empire of the Three Worlds.
The assembly of the Gods, distressed with fear, went to the Hermitage of the Perfect where Vishnu was engaged in contemplation:
‘Bali, the son of Virocana,’ they said, ‘is performing a sacrifice, what benefit for the gods is there in this?’
Thus petitioned, Vishnu adopted a Dwarvish form approached the Demon Lord and begged from him the boon of three small paces which were granted him.
With the first step Vishnu re-assumed his normal aspect and occupied the Whole Earth, with the second step he broached the Eternal Atmosphere, and with the third, the Everlasting Sky…
He made Bali, the son of Virocana, a Dweller in the Underworld and gave the Empire of the Three Worlds back to Indra…’
Vishnu is a fish avatar.