Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 42
Children of the Way

From the Way came the one
From the one, yin and yang
From yin and yang, heaven & earth & man
From heaven, earth, and man
The 10,000 things.

The 10,000 things with yin at their backs,
With yang embraced
Find harmony joining heaven, earth, & man.
Heaven gives, earth transforms, and man nurtures.

Although all the world hates
Being orphaned, widowed, divorced, destitute;
The most successful people
Identify with these states.
Since we gain by losing,
And we lose by gaining,
These teachings of old continue:
Those who love victory make enemies,
Violence and aggression destroy themselves.

Commentary

“The weak progresses and goes upward. (Hexagram 35) The yielding pushes upward with the time.. However, the pushing up certainly begins at the bottom… At the top is decrease and not wealth.”

Fu Xi 伏羲 via Richard Wilhelm, Hexagram 35 & 46
c. 2852–2737 BCE
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Themes: Wealth

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“From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate… The hottest love has the coldest end.”

Socrates
469 – 399 BCE
One of the most powerful influences on Western Civilization

Themes: Desire Hate

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“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”

Plato Πλάτων
428 – 348 BCE

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“Heaven gives, earth transforms and man nurtures.”

Heshang Gong 河上公
(Ho-shang Kung or "Riverside Sage”)
202 – 157 BCE

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“The Tao gives birth to the beginning. One gives birth to yin and yang. Yin and yang give birth to the breath between them,the mixture of clear and turbid. These three breaths divide themselves into Heaven, Earth, and Humankind and together give birth to the ten thousand things.”

Heshang Gong 河上公
(Ho-shang Kung or "Riverside Sage”)
202 – 157 BCE

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“An old lady who lives to the east got rich a few years ago. Before poorer than me,now she mocks my poverty. She laughs that I’m behind, I laugh that she’s ahead. It seems we can’t stop laughing from the east and from the west.”

Han Shan
(Cold Mountain)
c. 730-850 CE

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“The yang we embrace is one. The yin we turn away from is two. Where yin and yang meet and merge is three.”

Li Xizhai via Red Pine
(Li Hsi-Chai)
12th century CE
from Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

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“If you are alone, you are all your own; with a companion you are half yourself.”

Leonardo da Vinci
1452 – 1519 CE

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“No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.”

Baruch Spinoza
1632 – 1677 CE

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“the sprouts of living potential grow when the energies of yin and yang commune.”

Liu Yiming 刘一明 via Thomas Cleary
(Liu I-ming)
1734 – 1821 CE
from Taoist I Ching, , Zhouyi chanzhen 周易闡真

Themes: Middle Way

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“Those who laugh together become like the waves of the sea… They are no more separate than are two waves.”

Ryokan 良寛大愚
(Ryōkan Taigu,“The Great Fool”)
1758 – 1758 CE

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“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”

Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 – 1860 CE

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862 CE
Father of environmentalism and America's first yogi
from Walden or Life in the Woods

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“Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
1844 – 1900 CE
from Human All Too Human - A Book for Free Spirits

Themes: Progress

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“the psychological relationship between the sexes… the real domain of woman. Woman's psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos.”

Carl Jung
1875 – 1961 CE

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“in order to attain any definite goal it is imperative that one person should do the thinking and commanding.”

Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955 CE

Themes: Skillful Means

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“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”

Aldous Huxley
1894 – 1963 CE

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“Society tries to focus us on distant goals making it easy for us to forget that our only goal is to live, to live each and every day”

Jean Giono via Shan Dao
1895 – 1970 CE

Themes: Here and Now

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“We shouldn’t see some as sharp and others as dull. By treating all children without discrimination, we enable them to see all beings as equal.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
1904 – 1971 CE

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“low and high, winning and losing, destruction and self-destruction, reverse themselves, each turning into its seeming opposite.”

Ursula Le Guin
1929 – 2018 CE

Themes: Victory One Taste

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