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.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Tao Chapter 55: Growth From Teh

For this Chapter we will use Suzuki's translation of the Tao.

He who possesses virtue in all its solidity is like unto a little child.
Venomous reptiles do not sting him, fierce beasts do not seize him. Birds of prey do not strike him. His bones are weak, his sinews tender, but his grasp is firm. He does not yet know the relation between male and female, but his virility is strong. Thus his metal grows to perfection. A whole day he might cry and sob without growing hoarse. This shows the perfection of his harmony.

To know the harmonious is called the eternal. To know the eternal is called enlightenment.

To increase life is called a blessing, and heart-directed vitality is called strength, but things vigorous are about to grow old and I call this un-Reason.

Un-Reason soon ceases!

Taoism Beliefs
The Taoism


This chapter is a statement of the nature of teh, belief in natural purpose.

The first stanza suggests that those who are in touch with teh are like a child.

The second stanza describes the properties of a child or a child like person who is in touch with Teh.  They seem to pass uninjured through life, they are weak and soft, but virile.  It is a child's nature to cry but crying does not weaken it.  He is able to do so because it is his teh to cry and so doing so comes easily.

The third stanza says that living in touch with teh, with inner purpose is enlightened living.

The fourth and fifth stanzas can be seen as a caution.  While teh is natural in the child, growing this life beyond its scope, or using it for strength rather than in its natural form invites the cycle of build up and decay.  How wise are we to remain in our inner nature and not be tempted to belief in positions of strength!

The Bible contains a similar passage.  Jesus says, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a child, and save that you enter as a child, you shall not know it at all."
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