Thirty-Seventh Chapter | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Thirty-Seventh Chapter

Thirty-Seventh Chapter

Thirty-Seventh Chapter:
Tao-te Ching

The Tao does nothing, and yet leaves nothing undone.

If powerful can center themselves in the Tao, the whole world will transform spontaneously to its natural rhythms.
Life will become simple. Pretenses will fall away.
Our true nature will shine through.

Without cravings there is calm. World straightens itself.
In silence, one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.


As I Understand It:
If a person does nothing, is he worthless? Isn’t he better than an interferer, a meddler, a controller? The sage knows interference causes problems to surface. She lets things follow their natural course and refuses to participate in the activities that cause harm.

The sage does not allocate responsibilities; tell others what to do and how to do it. Instead of directing others she observes her own natural strengths. Without creating resistance she retreats into silence. Calm energy replaces her frustrations. Her true nature shines through.

Like the sage, tap into your inner power. Be who you are by retreating into silence instead of meddling. Cultivate your unique individuality. Be aware of your own natural strengths and see the essential nature of others. In time, others will find their own anchor within.


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
  • Cathy

    Thank you for the lovely interpretation of this passage. I have returned to re-read it several times. The wording of the second paragraph appeals greatly to me. “Natural strengths” — What are mine? I’m not sure I’ve ever asked myself that question before. “Retreating into silence” has a delicious resonance to it… a velvet coolness. “Calm energy replacing frustrations” inspires a long deep sigh.

    July 29, 2008 at 7:04 pm

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