Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 39

By Lao Tzu

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Chapter 39

  • Finding oneness comes with all kinds of benefits.
  • You'll find clarity like the sky.
  • Peace like the Earth.
  • Spiritual power like the gods.
  • Vital energy like all the living things around you.
  • Rulers who've found this oneness show everybody how they should be living.
  • If we don't find oneness, bad stuff happens.
  • A sky without clarity breaks apart.
  • The Earth without peace erupts.
  • When gods don't have spiritual power, they disappear.
  • When living things lose their energy, they all die.
  • When rulers don't have this oneness, they lose their position.
  • Good rulers base everything on those beneath them.
  • Good rulers don't want to be shiny like jade.
  • They want to be dull like rocks.
  • We're guessing this all means that good rulers don't forget the little people, and they aren't into a lot of flash.
  • It's true, right?
  • Those ruler-dudes who squish the little people and spend all their time building giant statues of themselves don't always last that long.

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