Lao Tzu was right…
by The Maui Taoist
“Those who assist human leaders with the Way do not coerce the world with weapons, for these things are apt to backfire…The unguided soon come to an end” Verse #30
and so the world turns and life goes on.
“Weapons are instruments of ill omen…and are not the tools of the cultured…” Verse #31
“Use straight forwardness for civil government…use non involvement to take the world…the more taboos there are in the world: the poorer the populace is…the more laws you make, the greater the number of thieves.. “Therefore the Sage says: I take no action yet the people transform themselves, I favor quiescence and the people right themselves, I take no action and the people enrich themselves….” Verse #57
“When the government is unobtrusive, the people are pure, when the government is invasive the people are wanting. Calamity is what fortune depends upon, fortune is what calamity subdues. Who knows how it will end?” Verse #58
“To govern humans and serve the divine nothing compares to frugality, only frugality brings early recovery…” Verse #59
“To best way govern a great nation is the same as frying a small fish…the less you poke it the better…” Verse #60
“When people are starving, it is because their governments take too much, causing them to starve. when people are hard to control, it is because of the contrivances of their governments.” Verse #75
“…so sages manage effortless service and carryout unspoken guidance…without possessiveness, not dwelling on success…” Verse #2
“Not exalting cleverness causes the people not to contend…” Verse #3
“…Sages put themselves last,and they were first…” Verse #7
“…goodness in words is trustworthiness, goodness in government is order…” Verse #8
“…producing without possessing, doing without presuming, growing without domineering, this is called mysterious power” Verse #10
“…those who embody nobility to act for the sake of the world draw the world to them, while those who embody love to act for the sake of the world seem worthy of the trust of the world.” Verse #14
“Skilled warriors of old were subtle…unknowable, wary, cautious, their gravity was as that of a guest, simple, open, inscrutable…” Verse #15
“Impartiality is the highest nobility…the highest nobility is divine,and the divine is the Way…” Verse #16
“Very great leaders are only known to exist… Great things seem to happen spontaneously…” Verse #17
“When people lose the Way, there is humanitarian duty…” Verse #18
“Eliminate humanitarianism, abandon duty and the people will return to familial love” Verse #19
“Be tactful and remain whole…economy is gain, excess is confusion…not asserting themselves they are outstanding, not congratulating themselves they are meritorious, not taking pride in themselves they last long…it is just because they do not contend that no one in the world can contend with them” Verse #22
“To speak rarely is natural…” Verse #23
“…Those who glorify themselves have no merit…” Verse #24
“…What can be done about heads of state who take the world lightly in their own self interest? Lack of gravity loses servants of state; instability loses heads of state” Verse #26
“Know the male, keep to the female; be humble toward the world…The great fashioner does no splitting” Verse #28
“Should you want to take the world and contrive to do so, I see that you will not finish…those who contrive spoil it…therefor sages remove extremes, extravagance and arrogance” Verse #29
“The Way plays no favorites, it treats all things as straw dogs” (Sacrificial offerings)
No doubt about it, Lao Tzu is clear, our world leadership is going the wrong Way. It sure seems like Lao Tzu got it pretty right-on for book written over two thousand years ago… His writings show us how a “cultured” leader should govern by use of “The Way” and it shows a certain level of “class” that is rare in the world today. The situations were comparable then, when this book was written and with modern times, and yet the advice given is so sagely it is prophetic.
Consider this observation by Lao Tzu’s contemporary, Chuang Tzu:
“A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a State.”
The Way of nature is definitely a free market system, based on individual responsibility, balanced with compassion. A system where “doing the right thing” means to take care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbors. The more power you give up to the “government “ is to submit to tyranny and to subjugate your liberty.
History is full of hard times, with world leaders destroying liberty and the looming “new world order” that promises an authoritative totalitarian “Utopia” for all. One thing is certain; we need to learn to be independent thinkers.
Tao harmonizes extremism, be it political, religious, or whatever, balance is the way of moderation, and yet Lao Tzu says also:
“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher, and what is a bad man but a good man’s teacher” Verse #27
My suggestions for anyone reading this is simple;
- Learn to take care of yourself.
- Study the Tao Te Ching.
- Be a free thinker
- Forget the garbage coming out of the government controlled media.
- Learn to meditate and to be in control of your thoughts.
- Do not rely on the health care system
- Do qigong and Taiji and eat healthy food.
- Do not be resentful or blame others for the ills of the world
- Be discerning but not judgmental
Lao Tzu would not be surprised. He was a prophet of such things. Taoism is a libertarian philosophy, that believes in individual rights, you might say “inalienable rights bestowed by their creator.” I think Lao Tzu could have helped write the US constitution and the ten commandments and which are both based on natural law. Natural law, freedom, frugality, survival of the fittest, with the compassion that nature provides by giving all things an equal opportunity to thrive, should prevail.
Keep your compassion, put your lives in order, remain unattached from the events depicted in the media. Have faith that all these things are natural, yes, even war and tyranny and therefore do not resent these things or other people. All these things are part of the human learning experience, and yet, haven’t we been here before? Like the movie “Groundhog Day”, we humans keep getting chances to redeem ourselves, the question is….. Will we get it right this time?
The answer is… It is up to all of us!