Fiftieth Chapter: Tao-te Ching | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Fiftieth Chapter: Tao-te Ching

Fiftieth Chapter: Tao-te Ching

Fiftieth Chapter
Tao-te Ching

Man comes in to life and goes out to death.
Three out of ten are companions of life.
Three out of ten are companions of death.
And three out of ten in their lives lead from activity to death.
And for what reason?
Because of man’s intensive striving after life.

I have heard that one who is a good preserver of his life will not meet tigers or wild buffaloes,
And in fighting will not try to escape from weapons of war.
The wild buffalo cannot butt its horns against him,
The tiger cannot fasten its claws in him,
And weapons of war cannot thrust their blades into him.
And for what reason?
Because in him there is no room for death.

As I Understand It

The fear of death is at the top of the list of all our dreaded fears. We fear death the most because we see ourselves as physical beings and death as annihilation of what we believe we are. But if we consider ourselves to be physical as well as spiritual the thought of mortality cannot invade us.

Spiritual awareness makes us fearless. Being self-aware we begin to notice people who see themselves only as physical beings. They are perpetually victimized by emptiness, chaos, envy and greed. They fight inner battles of their own creation by imaginary weapons.

The spiritually aware escape such victimization. Feelings of Tao fill each pore of their bodies. No emptiness, no empty space where “buffalo can butt its horns” or “tiger fasten its claws.” Fear of death cannot find space to sink its hook into and damage the space within.

We’re not of death; we’re of life, of spirituality, of immortality. The sage has “no room for death.”

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

The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.

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