“Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 52” by Lao Tzu

Image Source: Wikipedia

All-under-Heaven have a common Beginning.
This Beginning is the Mother of the world.
Having known the Mother,
We may proceed to know her children.
Having known the children,
We should go back and hold on to the Mother.
In so doing, you will incur no risk
Even though your body be annihilated.

Block all the passages!
Shut all the doors!
And to the end of your days you will not be worn out.
Open the passages!
Multiply your activities!
And to the end of your days you will remain helpless.

To see the small is to have insight.
To hold on to weakness is to be strong.
Use the lights, but return to your insight.
Do not bring calamities upon yourself.
This is the way of cultivating the Changeless.

I love this passage and read it several times today.

The first stanza expresses the interconnectedness between all beings. We are all born from the Earth, we all coexist upon the Earth, and in the end, we will all return to the Earth. It is only our egos which delude us into thinking we are separate. We are not. We are all one, all intrinsically connected, and should keep this in mind when dealing with each other.

The second stanza describes how meditation and contemplation are the paths to happiness, fulfillment, and ultimately, spiritual evolution. We all know that we must seek within if we seek the truth, or connection with the divine. The external is but a distraction. I believe it was Nietzsche who said something to the extent that wisdom comes in one’s stillest hour.

The third stanza sums everything up. Take time to notice and appreciate the small miracles happening around you at all times. Strive for simplicity, and avoid undue complexities that lead to stress and anxiety. Practice compassion, with others and yourself. And most importantly, take time for introspective reflection. Do these things, and happiness will flourish.

8 Comments

Filed under Literature, Spiritual

8 responses to ““Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 52” by Lao Tzu

  1. In other words everyone needs to chill out is what I’m gathering by this Chapter! Am I close ? 👌

  2. Sonia Marcus

    I love this passage

    S

    On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Stuff Jeff Reads wrote:

    > Jeff Japp posted: ” All-under-Heaven have a common Beginning. This > Beginning is the Mother of the world. Having known the Mother, We may > proceed to know her children. Having known the children, We should go back > and hold on to the Mother. In so doing, you will incur ” >

  3. Hi Jeff, I think the older I get, the more I realize that this simple advice is the way to happiness and contentment. Great passage!

    • Thanks Barb. Yeah, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. We all know the “keep it simple” cliche, but so often fail to put it in practice. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.