Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 24

By Lao Tzu

Chapter 24

  • Not for the first time, the TTC lectures us on the dangers of arrogance.
  • We're told, "Those who are on tiptoes cannot stand" (24.1), which probably means that if you try to stand taller than others all the time you'll eventually fall over (unless you're a massively talented ballerina).
  • This is basically a metaphor for the idea that people who brag are not only destined to look like idiots, but are actually inherently idiotic.
  • People who are with the Tao hate arrogance and treat it like "leftover food or tumors" (24.7). Eww.
  • Even though arrogance is part of the Tao like everything else, it's an unfortunate part of the Tao that real-deal Tao masters don't engage in.

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