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- This one's all about knowing yourself.
- The TTC says that you're pretty smart if you understand others, but you're totally enlightened if you understand yourself.
- Then it tells us that you're strong if you overcome others, but it's only when you overcome yourself that you're truly powerful.
- (How do you overcome yourself, we wonder. Are we talking about inner strength? Yeah, probably.)
- We're also told that if we find contentment, then we're pretty well off, but if we go through life vigorously we've found real willpower.
- (That one kind of debunks the idea that master Taoists just sit around meditating all day.)
- Last of all, the TTC hits us up with these somewhat cryptic lines: "Those who do not lose their base endure / Those who die but do not perish have longevity" (33.7-8).
- We'll say that the base probably means your spiritual relationship with the Tao.
- If that's firm, then you'll survive.
- But if you're the Tao-iest of the Tao, the positive effects you've had on the world will live on after you die.
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