This blog is an interpretation of the Tao te Ching "Tao Virtue Book" which is attributed to Laozi "Lao Tze" a Chinese philosopher who lived circa 600 b.c.

Please remember always that this is the description of the Tao and not the experience of the living Tao. Hopefully, this blog will not serve as analysis or commentary but as a window into the Tao. You are encouraged to disagree with this interpretation, involve yourself in self-study, and ultimately leave all concepts behind and so experience the living Tao.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Tao te Ching Chapter 40: Being at Rest


Retirement is characteristic of Dao just as weakness appears to be a characteristic of its activity.

Heaven and earth and everything are produced from existence, but existence comes from nonexistence.

Tao te Ching Chapter 40


It is often difficult for people to understand that the Tao te Ching clearly recommends doing nothing as a useful activity.  We do hold the clue to this in our society however.  Many of us wait anxiously for the weekend or lunch break or any time that we can "zone out" for a while.  These moments of peaceful inactivity are as essential to our ability to live effectively as our moments of activity.  The Tao te Ching may be said to embrace this notion.  This chapter may be interpreted to say, Relaxing is very healthy.

The first stanza observes that the Tao lies at rest and reiterates the earlier theme that the Tao appears weak.

The second stanza observes that everything thing that is (and is active) came from the formlessness of the Dao (and was inactive.)  Perhaps this can be interpreted to mean that the state of rest is the true form of the universe at its core.

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1 comment:

  1. Doing nothing may be not so simple as it seems, this doing nothing means to let things flow, not to restrict from action ... and taht at least for me is a big difference.