Madhu Bazaz Wangu | As I Understand It
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As I Understand It

Seventy-First Chapter

Seventy-First Chapter Tao-te Ching Knowing ignorance is strength. Ignoring knowledge is sickness. Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we be free from the disease. The sage is free from the disease but he recognizes it. This is the secret of his health. # As I Understand It: Not being an intellectual (a person whose rational thinking is cut-off from intuitive feeling) is strength. Ignoring the knowledge of Tao is unhealthy. Sickness is being out of balance with the Tao. The Tao is kindness, contentment and patience. The non-Tao thinking expresses itself in sickness. Sick mind results in sick body. Only those who are sick of sick thoughts stay healthy. They may feel pain, they may hurt but they do not suffer. Pain and hurt are natural phenomenon but suffering is a personal choice. Mental as...

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Seventieth Chapter

Seventieth Chapter Tao-te Ching My teachings are very easy to understand and very easy to practice; yet so few in this world understand, and so few are able to practice. My words have a source (Nature). My deeds have a master (Tao). The people have no knowledge of this, therefore they have no knowledge of me. This is why sage dresses plainly, even though his interior is filled with precious jade. # As I Understand It: Lao Tzu teaching is simple: live a Tao-centered life rather than an ego-centered one. Allow the life-sustaining energy of the Tao to guide you. Abstain from hateful thoughts and deeds. Give up trying to control the world. Stay simple. Be humble. Respect your own creative genius and that of the others. The sage-like individuals dress plainly but within they conceal treasures. The treasures, the "precious jade"...

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Sixty-Ninth Chapter

Sixty-Ninth Chapter Tao-te Ching A soldier says: I dare not make the first move; I rather play the guest; I dare not advance an inch, I rather retreat a foot. He wants: To march forward without advancing, To push back without using weapons. There is no greater misfortune than feeling "I have an enemy." For when "I" and "enemy" exist together there is no room left for my treasure. When two opponents meet, the one without an enemy will triumph. When armies are evenly matched, the one with compassion wins. # As I Understand It: Is it possible to have a Tao-centered self when the wars are being waged? All the people originate from the same source, then how can we have an "enemy?" Enemies are not necessarily in the battleground. We create them all around us--at home, at work, while...

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Sixty-Eighth Chapter

Sixty-Eighth Chapter Tao-te Ching A skillful leader of troops is not oppressive with his military strength. A skillful fighter does not become angry. A skillful conqueror does not compete with people. One who is skillful in using others puts himself below them. This is called virtue of non-competing. This is called the strength to use men. This is called matching Heaven, the highest principle. # As I Understand It: Early in our lives we are taught that in order to win we must defeat our opponent. In this chapter the sage advises to reverse our thinking, to make noncompetition our strength, to see yourself in your adversary. A good fighter is the one who is neither angry nor violet. Instead of being hateful towards your opponent think of him as your partner in this dance of life. You will be victorious....

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Sixty-Seventh Chapter

Sixty-Seventh Chapter Tao-te Ching The entire world says my Tao is great! Tao is not something that can be bought at a marketplace. If it were it wouldn't be great. I have three treasures, which I guard. The first is mercy. The second is frugality. The third is humility. From mercy comes courage. From frugality comes generosity. From humility comes leadership. But if we are courageous without having mercy, If we are generous without being frugal, If we lead without being humble, The death is certain. Love conquers all attacks, It is impregnable in defense. When Heaven wants to protect someone it does not send an army. It protects with love. # As I Understand It: Many say they know Tao. Only those who are kind, simple and humble know it. Most people are oblivious to anyone or anything that gets in their way, and ruthless with...

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Sixty-Six Chapter

Sixty-Sixth Chapter Tao-te Ching The sea is the king of all the mountain streams Because it stays below them. Humility gives it its power. Those desiring superior positions must speak humbly. Those desiring to lead must follow. When the sage places himself above the people, They do not feel his weight. When he places himself in front of the people, They do not feel hurt. The sage stays low so the world never tires of exalting him. He stays subservient so the world never tires of making him the king. # As I Understand It: Be humble. Learn from the sea. Stay low and hundred streams will flow to you. The sea never lords its greatness. People are attracted to those who are humble and who do not dominate. Stifle your habit of interfering and telling others what to do. Even if you're richer,...

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Sixty-Fifth Chapter

Sixty-Fifth Chapter Tao-te Ching Those who practice Tao well Do not seek to enlighten others, Make them aware of their ignorance. People who think they know the answers are difficult to govern. He who thinks he has all the answers is a robber of the state. He who is simple hearted and blended with the people is a blessing to the state. One who knows these two things also knows the secret. Simplicity is a profound and secret virtue. Not using cunning is a deep virtue. Be content with an ordinary life. Show people the way back to their original state. Then complete harmony will be reached. # As I Understand It: "I don't know" is a powerful phrase. This chapter, meant for politicians, may be also read from a personal point of view. The sage says don't force your rules upon the people you...

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Sixty-Fourth Chapter

Sixty-Fourth Chapter Tao-te Ching What remains still is easy to manage. What is not yet manifest is easy to plan for. What is brittle is easy to crack. What is small is easy to scatter. Deal with things before they appear. Put things in order before disorder arises. A tree that fills a man's embrace grows from a tiny shoot. A tower of nine stores begins with a heap of earth The journey of a thousand li starts with a single step. He who takes action fails. He who grasps things loses them. The sage takes no action and therefore does not fail. He does not grasp and therefore does not lose. People usually fail when they are about to succeed. So be as careful at the end as at the beginning, then there will be no failure. The sage does not treasure what is...

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Sixty-Third Chapter

Sixty-Third Chapter Tao-te Ching Practice nonaction. Work without doing. Taste the tasteless. Magnify the small; increase the few. Reward bitterness with care. See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in little things. Take on difficulty while it is still easy; do great things while they are still small. The sage does not attempt anything very big, and thereby achieves greatness. If you make rash promises, you will be little trusted; Because the sage always confronts difficulties right away, he never encounters them. # As I Understand It: Trillions of moments make up our lifetime. All we ever have to do is to live in the present moment to make life effortless. Instead of worrying about a future that has not even arrived do tiny things and achieve big tasks. Sage says confront difficulties the moment you face them--bitter moments with objectivity, lovable with...

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Sixty-Second Chapter

Sixty-Second Chapter Tao-te Ching Tao is the storehouse of all things. It is the good man's treasure and bad man's refuge. Fine words can gain honor And fine deeds can gain respect from others. Even when a man is bad, has Tao ever rejected him? On the occasion of crowning an emperor or installing the three ministers, Rather than present large pieces of jade preceded by teams of four horses, It is better to kneel and offer this Tao. Why did the ancients highly value this Tao? Did they not say, "Those who seek shall have it and those who sin shall be freed? For this reason it is valued by the world. # As I Understand It: There is a treasure house deep within us-the wondrous wellspring of the Tao. When we are in tune with this space we know the source of...

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