Wednesday, February 23, 2011

19: Gain by Abandoning


Abandon wisdom, discard knowledge,
And people will benefit a hundredfold.
Abandon benevolence, discard duty,
And people will return to the family ties.
Abandon cleverness, discard profit,
And thieves and robbers will disappear.
These three, though, are superficial, and not enough.
Let this be what to rely on:
Behave simply and hold on to purity.
Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.
Abandon knowledge and your worries are over.

Gain by Abandoning

This chapter clearly continues the thoughts of the previous one. Lao Tzu made no division of his text into chapters. That came much later. It may very well be so that Lao Tzu intended these two chapters to be read as one. Either that or the previous chapter simply inspired the next...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 19 Translation and Commentary

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