Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 45

By Lao Tzu

Chapter 45

  • … Aaaand here come some more seeming contradictions.
  • Great perfection, a.k.a. the Tao, might seem flawed.
  • Great fullness, a.k.a. the Tao, might seem empty.
  • Still, the Tao does its thing without stopping.
  • Sometimes something that's straight might seem bent.
  • People who are super-skilled at something or are great speakers might seem like they aren't skilled or great at all.
  • "Stillness overcomes movement," we're told (45.9).
  • This all might be getting at the way Tao masters live simply and quietly.
  • They don't do more than is necessary, but when they do something they make it count.
  • They don't talk more than is necessary, but when they speak the few words they say pack a wallop.

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