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.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chapter 49: Love to All

The wise man has no fixed heart; in the hearts of the people he finds his own.

The good he treats with goodness; the not-good he also treats with goodness, for de [teh] is goodness. The faithful ones he treats with good faith; the unfaithful he also treats with good faith, for de [teh] is good faith.

The wise man lives in the world but he lives cautiously, dealing with the world cautiously. He universalizes his heart; the people give him their eyes and ears, but he treats them as his children.

Tao te Ching Chapter 49


This chapter repeats the earlier message about listening.  Now it observes that listening to the hearts and desires of others is a useful guide for choosing our own feelings.

It also shares a message from Buddhism.  The Buddha observed that being angry with someone is like holding a coal that you mean to throw at another person.  Whatever happens to the other person, we can be sure your hand will get burned.  This same sentiment is reflected here where the author suggests the wise person treats all people with good heart whether they are bad or good themselves.

The first stanza reminds up to be flexible in our feelings.  To understand the people around us and let them move our hearts.

The seconds stanza can be seen to say that compassion is universal.  Who needs compassion more than those whose hearts are so sick that they hate and treat us unfairly?

The third stanza repeats a frequent message from the Dao de Ching, careful action is the road to good life.  it also reminds us to care for all people as if they were our children.  This is in agreement with the teachings of the Christian Bible which tells us to "love our neighbors as ourselves."
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