Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Chapter 8

By Lao Tzu

Chapter 8

  • This chapter tells us that water needs to be our new role model.
  • Water is super good because it gives to everything without complaining and flows to places people turn their noses up at.
  • In this way, it's a whole lot like the Tao.
  • Now we get a list of everything that's cool about water.
  • 1) It's deep... like spiritually deep, man.
  • 2) It gives with kindness.
  • 3) It's honest, reflecting everything as it is.
  • 4) It controls everything within its power equally and impartially.
  • 5) It's totally adaptable, always changing to match its environment.
  • 6) It has great timing (which probably means that it does the right things at the right times, not that water is good with jokes).
  • The last couple lines remind us that water is most awesome because it spreads all its awesomeness without complaining or expecting anything.

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