Daily Dose of the Tao

One who boasts is not established
One who shows himself off does not become prominent
One who puts himself on display does not brightly shine
One who brags about himself gets no credit
One who praises himself does not long endure

Chapter 24 Te-Tao Ching

“I have just said something, but I don’t know if what I have said really says something or says nothing.”

“The great variety of sounds are relative to eachother just as much as they are not relative to eachother.”

– both favorites from Chuang Tzu

Life is a paradox. One thing is true, yet the opposite is also and equally true. Both are true but are not absolute Truth.


A follow-up quote:

“If the right is really right, then the fact that it is different from the wrong leaves no room for argument. If what is so is really so, then the fact that it is different from what is not so leaves no room for argument. Forget the passage of time (life and death) and forget the distinction of right and wrong. Relax in the realm of the infinite and thus abide in the realm of the infinite.” – Chuang Tzu

Basically what I got from that is – things exist the way they exist whether you worry about it or not… so worrying is pointless.

…we know a sound in comparison to all other sounds that are not that sound, we know all other sounds are not the first sound in comparison to the first sound, so the first stands alone–so things are relative as much as they are not… as are opinions on the way things should be versus the way things are… and all other distinctions… (beginning/end, cause/effect, right/wrong, this sound/that sound…).

–question on relaxing into the flow of Nature: is it not in my nature to try to influence the outcome?

True, worrying is pointless. It has never helped, not even for a second to worry. So very true. But the passage is more. It is saying that to focus energy on the dualistic realm is a distraction. That one must go beyond the dualistic realm and focus on the infinite absolute realm…this is where Truth lies. Focus on Tao.

The true nature of who we are just is. The key is to align with that and release all other desires. To try to influence the outcome is to follow desire of the mind. The mind is part of the dualistic realm whereas the true nature is part of the infinite realm. “Relax in the realm of the infinite and thus abide in the realm of the infinite.”

Tao abides in non-action, yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this, the ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act, they would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without form there is no desire.
Without desire there is tranquility.
And in this way all things would be at peace.

  • Chapter 37, Tao Te Ching


Ones I like:

“To know you have enough is to be rich.”

Because it allows me to be unambitious in the workplace. :smiley:

“When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield”.

Because I see two contortionists fighting in a bucket. :astonished:

“Those who know do not say,
Those who say do not know.”

Cos’ this is sooo useful to say when you’re losing an arguement… :wink:

“No need to leave your door to know the whole world.”

Everything that is important is right in your backyard - so when those skinny rich women in my neighborhood are in Paris for the weekend, I feel like I am communing with my God and my family, and my life is full. Ommmmmm

“If you are quiet and tranquil you can be the ruler of the world.”

And if I could just keep my darn mouth shut, I could be Queen? I like that. There is so much wisdom to quietude and calm. Listening is an art. Saying nothing in the heat of an argument can move mountains.

The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it diligently.
The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again.
The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs aloud.
If there were no laughter, the Tao would not be what it is.
Hence it is said:
The bright path seems dim;
Going forward seems like retreat;
The easy way seems hard;
The highest Virtue seems empty;
Great purity seems sullied;
A wealth of Virtue seems inadequate;
The strength of Virtue seems frail;
Real Virtue seems unreal;
The perfect square has no corners;
Great talents ripen late;
The highest notes are hard to hear;
The greatest form has no shape.
The Tao is hidden and without name.
The Tao alone nourishes and brings everything to fulfillment.

  • Chapter 41, Tao Te Ching

I originally had no intension of joining the disccusion of this thread, because I don’t want to be seen as a disagreable and restless ranter who just wants some fun by destroying people’s faith, but as a supplement to clarify my reply to liquidangel in the other thread, I decided to explain a liitle of what I understand about the dao, by using what Bessy quoted as an example.

I’d say that this is a fairly typical dao saying that would occur in the later chapters of the book. Initially the book appears to be very mysterious and beyond, because it attempts to address the frame and base of the dao philosophy. Later it gets applicational and practical, in order to illustrate how does the philosophy is to be connected with the real world and everyday life - this quotation is a perfect example of that.

This quote immediately reminded me of Nietzsche’s aphrosims in Human-all-too-human, which is also socialogical and psychological inquires/observations about people and life. This one here is practical, straight forward and can be classified as common sense - it’s much simpler content-wise than Nietzsche. This is where the dao of dao really different from the dao of natural science subjects. Sociology and psychology combines to give out systematic, inter-connected and comprehensive explainations for social happenings. Their explainations are based on a certain scientific theories that are all logically backed up by empirical evidence. This is where the real difference lies, in the methodology, not in the conclusion or result. The methodology of dao in contrast with that of science is less reliable because science employes strict logic while dao uses almost metaphorical inference; science relies on materialistic evidence while dao draws itself from rather mysterious imagination. The fact that daoist sayings are perfectly applicational, is not a proof for the (assumed) credibility of its highly baseless methodology; it’s merely a proof that dao appears better to readers (as itself appears to be fully in line with common sense). Dao might work faster in everyday life, but that doesn’t mean the daoist framework and its basis could stand serious logical questionings. Nietzsche’s many writings appear to be similar to the dao, in terms of style and expressional method, but the fundamental difference is that Nietzsche wrote scientifically, hence he is able to explain why “one who puts himself on display does not shine” etc; he is able to do that thoroughly; he is able to reference on scientific and logical systems. Again, here lies the limitation of dao: its unorganised and unemepirical way of exploitation in the realm of knowledge, makes sure that today it has a less significance to society, as the powerful enquiring weapon of the scientific method in combination with the fiercely rational philosophical reasoning, is wnough to give us what we need to know and what the dao can’t explain satisfactorily.

liquidangel, I think the above rant would more or less represent the gneral view/attitude regarding the relation between ancient sayings and modern subjects. Also I believe that your belef in dao, as you explained, would more or less totally reject what I just wrote. Since I’ve layed out my stance on the matter open and spread, you now have a field to fight your battle more effectively, I think.


I would have liked to dispute several points that you made, but it was impossible because that would have included everything said. I would suggest that you re-examine your understanding of Nietzsche’s “scientific” writing. You may find that scientific wasn’t exactly what he was talking about. Your characterization of the Tao as relying on ‘mysterious imagination’ suggests a lack of understanding that borders on zero. Me thinks you need to do a bit more homework. You’re in way over your head on this one.


That doesn’t make sense. If you are here trying to dispute me then there shouldn’t be anything stoping you. I question your intension.

Nietzsche was a sociologist and pyschologist, he dug Darwin and respected Goethe partly because the poet was also a man of science… I’m sure I could quote you many aphrosms which whould directly and explicitly contradict your above claim.

I regard most form of meta-physics as mysterious imagination, because so did Nietzsche. While that being a fact, it doesn’t relate to your claim that I know nothing about dao. You are either incredibly frank, or you just fancy some pissing about. I’m betting on the latter.

If memory serves, tentative, you are a christian who read some dao. So I’m not surprised that you are failing to see my simple and apparant stance on this matter, but that’s fine, what’s not fine is the fact that you posted a post that serves no use except to express your displeasure about my rant. Spare me the sacasm if that’s all your intension.

Some people don’t care why the machine works, they just use it. I think this was mentioned in the Matrix. Science and philosophy are pointless anyways. So why use them other than to waste time?


The only things you are listening to are the voices inside your head.

I wonder what part of ‘this is a battle I’m CHOOSING not to fight’ you don’t understand?

Perhaps if you were less accusatory, less presumptious and more open minded I might want to have discourse with you…until then Uniqor…

There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect. - G.K. Chesterton


I know, but the benefit of understanding the mechanism of the machines would allow you not to only operate the machines, but also to improve the efficency of it by opening it up and make some changes, even to build a better, new generation of machines. That’s why we study stuff to the deepest depth possible, to gain complete understanding and as much knowledge as possible, all for the purpose of improvement. What’s the point of improvement? I wonder how boring it must be if for the last million years we have been doing nothing but hunt, gril, eat, shit and fuck… no knowledge, no music, no book, no film, no nothing. I choose to know better, because the world is just not enough.

liquidangel hi, I’ve been trying to engage this matter with you as ethuiastic as I could and as felxible as open minded, as respectable as I could, sadly you still think that I’m here trying to mess around with dao, despite the fact that I’ve said a trillion times that it isn’t my intention. What I wrote in my last post to you doesn’t even represent my own true position, as I said

Also I said this before (in the very first post of my on this matter in the other thread)

You never actually saw my stance on the matter, and it’s been you who made accusations, accusations without strict relevence/backup to/from this subject, e.g.

That effectively shows me that you failed to comprehend my attitude regarding this matter and what’s more - you made some direct coments on my person - ad hominem arguemantation. And I don’t see why should you define me as close minded given the fact that I embrace science and superstation at the same time - a fact which I repeatedly tried to convey to you.

I think it’s time for me to stop banging my head on your dao wall, it’s proven to be too thick a wall for me. I won’t give up on dao though, as I have an open mind.

[size=75]btw, the thing that you quoted in your last post is just way too literatural to be discussed philosophically, so do understand that I didn’t mention about it.[/size]

zhi jing

Pray tell why you would post something that isn’t your true position?

Uniqor if you keep coming at me, I am naturally going to back away. It is not MY way to argue and argue whilst you don’t give me your honest position. Sometimes it is better to leave things for a later stage when the answers to your questions become clear. I cannot discuss every detail of everything. Knowing Tao is knowing life. If you really want to know Tao then turn your computer off, throw away all your books, go outside and look at the stars. Our understanding of the essence of Tao comes not through intellectual study - although it is a starting point - true understanding happens in your ordinary everday life when you witness the ineffable in the smallest and greatest things. You must learn to wait for the right time, everything is revealed at the right time, at the right pace and in the right place.

Incidentally I am not a Taoist. God alone knows where you picked up that assumption.

Now let it rest.



I was hoping this could be a daily inspiration, not a daily rant.


… duno… my gorgousness and open mindness and inner peacefulness? j/k. Seriously now: my own position on dao is so far so not in existence, as I said a trillion times - I’m trying to embrace dao despite the apparant difficulties in doing that.

… I don’t know how much more honest and frank I can be right now…

… I’m afraid I’m not that of a genius.

… Now I’m real speechless.


To die but not be forgotten - that’s ( true) long life.

Te Tao Ching Chapter 33

Can you elabrate a little on that bessy, I don’t think I understood it. Does it mean that if you lead such a life that people would remember you always, then that means you’ve lead a worthy life? I have a couple of disagreement with that but of course firstly, the quote must be confirmed of its meaning. So how do you intepret this quote?