Do the Non-Ado.
Strive for the effortless.
Savour the savourless.
Exalt the low.
Multiply the few.
Requite injury with kindness.
Nip troubles in the bud.
Sow the great in the small.
Difficult things of the world
Can only be tackled when they are easy.
Big things of the world
Can only be achieved by attending to their small beginnings.
Thus, the Sage never has to grapple with big things,
Yet he alone is capable of achieving them!
He who promises lightly must be lacking in faith.
He who thinks everything easy will end by finding everything difficult.
Therefore, the Sage, who regards everything as difficult,
Meets with no difficulties in the end.
My interpretation of this passage is that when faced with any situation, the goal should be to maintain balance and equilibrium. This is sage advice. When faced with a large, daunting task, it is best to take a small step. When you have a small, simple task, take a swift and sure step, taking care of it quickly and easily.
Too often, in our current society, individuals attempt to fight fire with fire, to apply Herculean effort when confronted with a difficult challenge. As Lau Tzu shows, this is not the way of the Tao, and if we are honest with ourselves, we are forced to admit that our default way of responding often fails to achieve the desired outcome.
Regardless of where each of us stands on the socio-political spectrum, we can all agree that things are not really working well right now. It seems that it would be in our collective best interest to explore other ways of dealing with situations. I for one like Lau Tzu’s approach.
I hope this inspires you as much as it does me. Thanks for stopping by and reading.
4 responses to ““Tao Teh Ching: Chapter 63” by Lao Tzu”
Great stuff as always Jeff!
Thanks man. You do the same. Missing my vinyl right now. Need to replace some stereo components. As soon as I feel safe going shopping again I’ll be spinning 😀
I find that when I feel the weight of a difficult challenge ahead it’s the emotional appeal of my personal Underminer that is in the way. It’s the protective part that doesn’t want me to get hurt by a failure, I suppose. I find that it’s utterly useless to listen to that voice. Much better to follow the Sage who takes joy in calmly climbing a mountain towards the summit. You don’t need to keep looking at the top of the mountain to reach it, you just have to stay on the path. But I guess if the path isn’t clear, it is necessary to occasionally glance and make sure you’re still headed in the right direction. That’s where I think it can get difficult. But then one simply has to realize that the next small thing to do is get back on the path.
Thanks for your comment, Genna. And yes, the key is to remain on the Path, although sometimes this does require a bit of reorientation. I appreciate your thoughtful input, and I hope that you have a blessed 2021.