Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 15

By Lao Tzu

Chapter 15

  • This chapter is all about what we can learn from the ancient Tao masters.
  • The ancient sages knew they could never fully understand the Tao; that they could never fully see into its depths.
  • Because they couldn't totally figure out the Tao, they we're forced to describe it. (Kind of a challenge to describe something you don't understand, huh?)
  • To be a great Tao master you needed the following qualities on your resume:
  • Careful and cautious, but not crazily so.
  • Serious in a respectful way, like a guest.
  • Loose; kind of easygoing.
  • Genuine and simple.
  • Open-minded.
  • Opaque and hard to read (maybe because of how deep they were?).
  • Even though their thoughts were complex, they could still find clarity.
  • Even though they had inner peace, that didn't make them inactive. (These dudes were doing all kinds of Tao-y stuff.)
  • The Tao master also never wanted to be overfilled.
  • With what, we wonder?
  • Pride?
  • Desire?
  • Or did emptying their minds help them to find clarity?
  • It could be all of those at once.

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