Tao Te Ching: Fifth Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Tao Te Ching: Fifth Chapter

Tao Te Ching: Fifth Chapter

Tao-te Ching
Chapter Five

Heaven and Earth do not discriminate.
They regard all things as straw dogs.

The sage is impartial. To him no one is especially dear.
He regards all people as straw dogs.

Between Heaven and Earth there is a space like a bellows!
Vacuous and inexhaustible — the more it is used, more it creates.

Keep to the center.
Sit quietly and find the peace within.

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As I understand it:

The essence of Tao is like Heaven, Earth and the mind of the sage. It has no favorites. It sees everything as straw dogs. (Straw dogs were sacrificial objects in ancient China, discarded after the completion of a sacrifice.) In other words, Tao does not play favorites. It is neither partial nor impartial.

Between the celestial and terrestrial regions there is a space that is vacuous and inexhaustible. Similarly, at the solar plexus, near the navel of a sage, is boundless energy. The more it is used, more it produces.

If we feel the essence of Tao in our solar plexus, in our guts, if we see ourselves in all those we encounter, share with them, and give generously; we’ll find true happiness that is elusive to most of us.

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Suggested Readings:

Lao Tzu, The Way of Lao Tzu, tr. Wing-Tsit Chan, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.

Dyer, Wayne W., Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.

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