Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching

“There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.”

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An incredible text, one that's had a profound effect on my thinking and perspective. A collection of ancient Chinese wisdom translated by a masterful, modern day writer and poet Ursula K. LeGuin.

What is the book about? The easiest would be to say about life and about living well, but that doesn't quite capture the text. It is like flowing water, now this and now that, always quiet and unassuming, always powerful and without end.

"Be broken to be whole.
Twist to be straight

Be empty to be full.
Wear out to be renewed.
Have little and gain much.
Have much and get confused.

So wise souls hold to the one,
and test all things against it.

Not showing themselves,
they shine forth.
Not justifying themselves
they're self-evident.
Not praising themselves,
They're accomplished.
Not competing,
they have in all the world no competitor.

What they used to say in the old days,
"Be broken to be whole,"
was this mistaken?
Truly, to be whole
is to return."

In LeGuins poetic choice of words, the text comes to life as if it was written yesterday, and not so very long ago.

"You can't keep standing on tiptoe
or walk in leaps and bounds.
You can't shine by showing off
or get head by pushing.
Self-satisfied people do no good,
self-promoters never grow up."
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