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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chapter 54: Recognizing Tao

The thing that is well planted is not easily uprooted. The thing that is well guarded is not easily taken away.

If one has sons and grandsons, the offering of ancestral worship will not soon cease.

He who practices Dao in his person shows that his de [teh] is real. The family that practices it shows that their de [teh] is abounding. The township that practices it shows that their de [teh] is enduring. The state that practices it shows that their de [teh] is prolific. The empire that practices it reveals that de [teh] is universal.

Thereby one person becomes a test of other persons, one family of other families, one town of other towns, one county of other counties, and one empire of all empires.

How do I know that this test is universal? By this same Dao.

The Taoism
The Taoism


While the Daoist is not generally concerned with the opinions of others, this chapter can be seen an examination of how to recognize Tao in action in homes, towns, and nations.

The first stanza can be seen to say that care use of Tao gives strong results.  If we are careful in the design of our homes, towns and nations, they will be like well planted gardens.

The second stanza observes that these virtues are passed from generation to generation.  Taken together with the first stanza the message may be seen as, "the good virtues that we instill today will be passed forward."

The third stanza is can be seen as a reminder that Taoism requires substance.  If your teh (way of being) is strong it can be passed on.  If it is not, then it cannot be passed.  Taoism is not about thought or concept but about the way we live.  If this is true for one person, it is also true for our families and nations.

The fourth stanza can then be seen as pointing out that the living Dao is observable at all levels of society from the individual to the nation when it is being practiced.

The final stanza can be seen to be saying something to the effect of "these truths are self evident."  Either Tao is being followed or it is not.

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