Ninth Chapter: Tao te Ching | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Ninth Chapter: Tao te Ching

Ninth Chapter: Tao te Ching

Tao te Ching:
Ninth Chapter

To fill a cup until it overflows
Is not as good as to stop in time.
Sharpen a sword-edge too much
Its edge will blunt.
When the gold and jade fill your hall,
You will not be able to keep them long.
To puff with honor and wealth
Is to cause your own downfall

Withdraw as soon as your work is done:
This is the heaven’s way.


As I understand it:

Tao, despite its unlimited capacity for creating, does not show off. It stops at the perfect moment and thus moves in natural harmony.

Everything we do or say has a saturation point. Exaggerating or understating spoils it. The sense of te (the spiritual energy of Tao), deep within us, knows when enough is enough.

To know when to work, when to stop and let go, and enjoy the fruit of labor is to live a harmonious life. Excess destroys. Be humble about your capacities and capabilities.

Seek pleasure in the doing, not in accumulating rewards and badges.
Trust in the infinite wisdom, the benefits will come.


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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