Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching
Who Was Lao Tzu?
What Is The Tao Te Ching?
Tao Te Ching literally translates into the “Way To Heaven.”
Previous Postings On The Tao Te Ching?
While each one of these posts is designed to be read separately and independently of each other, it would be useful if you read the previous posts on The Tao Te Ching, all of which can be found by clicking here, if you have not already done so.
Another Quote From The Tao Te Ching
To know others is intelligence; to know yourself is wisdom.
To conquer others is power; to conquer yourself is strength.
To be content with yourself is to be rich.
To be discontent with yourself is to be poor.
Keep the essence of Heaven inside yourself, and you will never die.
Some Definitions First
Intelligence – Capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc..
Wisdom – Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
Conquer – To overcome by force; subdue. To gain, win or obtain by effort, personal appeal, etc. To gain victory over.
Power – Ability to do or act. Capability of doing or accomplishing something. Great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
Strength – Mental power, force or vigor. Moral power, firmness, or courage. Power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.
Content – Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
Rich – Abundantly supplied with resources, means or funds; wealthy. Of great value or worth.
Poor – Deficient or lacking in something specified. Of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind.
What Does This Quote Mean?
Once again, as in pretty much all of our discussions about Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and other Chinese classics, we keep talking about Balance.
In this case, we’re talking about 2 different kinds of knowledge.
Knowing others and knowing yourself.
To paraphrase Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, he said: If you know others and you know yourself, you will prevail.
In other words, if you know others AND you know yourself, you will have a FULL picture of the situation; you will have a FULL understanding of the situation.
In other words, you will have INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM, POWER AND STRENGTH.
That’s about all most people need in order to function in this world.
BUT, BUT, BUT, there is one last part to be concerned about.
What Is That Part We Should Be Concerned About?
Are we content?
Personally, that question is one I encounter over and over and over in my personal world and in the business world. I know some people who, no matter how much they achieve; no matter how successful they are, they are NEVER content. They are never happy.
They always want more.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting more, BUT TO FORECLOSE THE POSSIBILITY OF HAPPINESS, just because we want more, is NOT healthy.
We need to be happy along the way . . .
It’s okay to strive for more; it’s okay to want more; BUT be happy for what we have along the way.
That is the message Lao Tzu was trying to convey.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with Lao Tzu here? Do you agree with me here?
Have you checked out my website that profiles the benefits of walking? iWarriorWalk.com