The Daodejing and Our World
Each chapter of the Daodejing presents ideas and concepts meant to subtly change the view of people, and their leaders toward their community and environment. Chapter 27 was directed toward how a leader or sage could best use the resources around them.
“One who is good at traveling leaves not tracks or traces.
One who is good at speaking is free of slips or flaws.
One who is good at numbers need not count or reckon.
One who is good at closing up needs no bolts or locks,
yet what they have secured cannot be opened.
One who is good at binding needs no rope or string,
yet what they have tied cannot be undone.
This is why sages are good at saving people and so never abandon people,
Are good at saving things and so never abandon things.
This is called inheriting enlightenment.
And so the good person is teacher of the bad;
The bad person is material for the good.
Those who do not honor their teachers or who fail to care for their material,
though knowledgeable are profoundly deluded.
This is a fundamental mystery.” (176)
The first five lines can be applied equally to all people who are striving to achieve Mengzi's “flood-like qi.” Qi is described as a vast source of moral goodness which may enable each person to follow the path of righteousness and to find the Way. The idea of "having your stuff together" puts the concept more clearly into the Western perspective. The lines can be made even easier to understand to that perspective.
Capable walkers leave no trace of their passage;
Capable writers and orators are keenly aware of their audience;
Capable questioners already know the answers;
Capable carpenters construct doors that firmly close without locks.
Capable litigators form decisions that cannot be disputed.
These are examples of the types of people that make full use of their experience by utilizing a combination of cultivation and frugality. Chapter 59...
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