Thursday, February 24, 2011

60: The Ghosts Approve


Ruling a great country is like cooking a small fish.
When the world is ruled according to the Way,
The ghosts lose their power.
The ghosts do not really lose their power,
But it is not used to harm people.
Not only will their power not harm people,
Nor will the sage harm people.
Since neither of them causes harm,
Unified virtue is restored.

The Ghosts Approve

The ghosts, kuei, were the restless spirits of deceased ancestors, according to beliefs at the time of Lao Tzu. That's quite the same as what we mean by ghosts. And just like this chapter says, we foster the idea that the ghosts are only harmful if they are displeased. If the country is ruled wisely, in accordance with the Way, the ghosts will not be upset...

Here is my full commentary on this Tao Te Ching chapter:
Tao Te Ching Chapter 60 Translation and Commentary

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