Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 58

By Lao Tzu

Chapter 58

  • Here comes a little more advice for rulers.
  • If you aren't overbearing as a ruler, the people are automatically simple and honest.
  • If you constantly spy on your citizens and boss them around, they'll just find more and more sneaky ways to avoid your scrutiny.
  • Now, we dive into the idea that it's hard to tell what's right and wrong.
  • It's also hard to tell if something that's happened is good or bad.
  • A horrible tragedy might seem... um... horrible, but who knows what good things it might lead to?
  • People have been confused about this stuff for a long time, and we're not going to solve it anytime soon.
  • So while the sages hold themselves to the way of the Tao, they don't judge people who don't.
  • The sages have personal discipline, but they don't criticize people who live other ways.
  • The sages are enlightened, but they don't go around saying they're better than everybody else because of it.

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