Twenty-Fourth Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Twenty-Fourth Chapter

Twenty-Fourth Chapter

Twenty-Fourth Chapter:
Tao-te Ching

He who stands on tiptoe is not steady
He who strides forward does not go far.
He who shows off is not enlightened.
He who boasts has not accomplished much.
He who defines himself can’t really know who he is.
He who has power over others can’t empower himself.
He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.

From the point of view of Tao, these are all distasteful like tumor in the body.
Those who possess Tao, do their jobs, then let go.


As I Understand it:

Our superior qualities are hidden but become more prominent everyday. Boasting is conspicuous but what one boasts about gradually disappears. Instead of showing off seek an attitude of gratitude for the blessings of air, water, sun, health and natural beauty.

Those who have tendency to control other peoples’ words, acts or thoughts cannot empower themselves.

Some don’t know when to let go. They cling to the things and people. Thus they’re unable to go on to create a work that endures or a relationship that lasts.

Tao gives freely. Be generous in return. Be grateful for your life, for your loves, for what you have already accomplished and for your future capabilities and potential.

Express appreciation.


Suggested Readings:
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.

1 Comment
  • I find this a good one for me to contemplate. I’m tempted to push ahead in life, both from personal inclination and by societal pressure. But in the past, when I’ve pushed hardest and strained to excel, I’ve made no great progress; instead, I’ve driven myself crazy. When I work hard and focus on being excellent in a simple way, then life goes more smoothly.

    Even though I know this, I still make the same error again and again. I guess this is why one needs to have the guidelines written down, and to read and contemplate them. 🙂

    April 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm

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