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Lao Tzu & The Tao Te Ching – KNOWING

by Stanley Bronstein on September 3, 2008

Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching

Who Was Lao Tzu?

Lao Tzu was the founder of a major world religion known as Taoism. You can read more about Lao Tzu and Taoism by clicking the links above to wikipedia.

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.

A Quote From The Tao Te Ching

Without leaving his door the Wise One knows everything under Heaven.

Without looking out his window he knows the Way of Heaven.

For the farther one travels, the less one knows.

Therefore the Wise One arrives without going, sees Heaven without looking, does nothing, yet achieves everything.

Some Helpful Definitions First

I’d like to provide a few definitions before analyzing the quote.

Without – Free from; excluding.  Not accompanied by.  With the absence, omissions, or avoidance of; not with; with no or none of; lacking.

Leaving – To go out of or away from.  To depart from.

Know – To perceive or understand as fact or truth.  To be cognizant or aware of.

Everything – All.  All relevant matters.

Looking – To search.  To turn one’s attention to.

Farther – At or to a greater distance.  At or to a more advanced point.  More distant or remote.

Travel – To go from one place to another.  To move or go from one point to another.

Arrive – To come to a certain point in the course of travel.  To attain a position of success, power, achievement, fame, or the like.  To come to.

Going – The act of leaving or departing.

See -To perceive.  To understand.  To be cognizant of.

Do -To perform.  To execute.  To accomplish.

Achieve – To bring to a successful end.  To carry through.  To accomplish.

What Does This Quote Mean?

To me, this quote suggest that EVERYTHING WE NEEDS LIES WITHIN US.

All too often we go searching for answers; searching for solutions; WHILE ALL THE TIME, THE ANSWER LIES WITHIN US.

That is what is being suggested here.

The further away from ourselves we look the further away we “might” be getting from the solution.

Sometimes we try so hard to figure things out, that we wind up figuring out nothing.  Sometimes, the best way to figure things out is to simply sit back and reflect.

So, What Am I Suggesting

Once again, I’m going to go back to my favorite word in the English language – BALANCE

That is what the Tao Te Ching is suggesting.

In this particular quote, the author suggests that WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR ANSWERS.


The question is this:


Personally, I think these answers are close to home.  They lie inside of each of us.  THE QUESTION IS, ARE WE AWARE ENOUGH TO LOOK DEEPLY INSIDE OF OURSELVES FOR THE ANSWERS?

We will expand upon this subject more as we continue to explore the Tao Te Ching in future postings.

I think, unfortunately, ALL TOO OFTEN, we are not aware of what is happening around us.

Personally, I think we need to learn to APPRECIATE what is around us EVERY day, ALL the time.

What Do You Think?

Do you agree with Lao Tzu here? Do you agree with me here?

Personally I agree with him “most of the time”, but I still think there are circumstances when one must (and should) violate the helpful precepts outlined above.

Recommended Reading

Laws of Positioning #3 – Position Yourself To Be Appreciative

Laws of Positioning #4 – Position Yourself To Be Balanced

Laws of Positioning #14 – Position Yourself To Be Conscious

Future Posts on the Tao Te Ching

In our next post of the Tao Te Ching, we will begin discussing “Being Ordinary (Normal) and Sitting Still waiting for things to happen.”


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Until next time, take care. Stanley F. Bronstein
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Comment by Jean R. McFarland
MyAvatars 0.2

September 3rd, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Hi Stanley,

I have two points. Although I find your blog interesting and I’m glad you interpreted Lao Tzu’s quote, neither point directly relates to this particular blog.

1. Were Sun Tzu and Lao Tzu KNOWN to be related or is it another case of millions of Asians with the same name?

2. Thank you for sharing your video of Charlie Tremendous Jones. His comments are priceless.

Jean McFarland

Comment by Stanley Bronstein
MyAvatars 0.2

September 3rd, 2008 at 4:22 pm

To the best of my knowledge, Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu were NOT related.

FURTHERMORE, there is substantial doubt as to whether or not either of those individuals actually existed, or if the ideas are simply thoughts put together by several individuals and collected over the years.

Stanley Bronstein


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