Also, though the writing of a pictogram may have been simplified over time for ease, does not corelate to a change in meaning. Did the simplification change how the word or its components is/are used? And did it change the compound as it has been meant to be used, with all of its inferences, through time. And what does any kind of a transliteration have to do with your original question?
Sorry about that. I misunderstood your question. A lot of people try to claim that the elements of kanji are influential in giving meaning to the kanji. My point there was that the elements we have ended up with have little to do with the origin of the character.
As for the meanings, the understanding of Tao has taken many many forms over the years. As I point out in the post, there are a variety of philosophical schools using the term and how they interpret and conceive of it has changed and evolved. That's why I think reading just the Tao Te Ching is not enough. On the other hand, the existence of foundational texts such as the Tao Te Ching, the Chuang Tsu and the Great Learning, tends to anchor the meaning of the term so it doesn't drift too far from the original.