Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 55


He who contains virtue(Te) in abundance resembles a newborn child.
Wasps and serpents don’t sting him, and beasts don’t claw at him, and birds of prey don’t attack them.
His bones are tender, and his tendons are soft, and yet his grip is firm.
He hasn’t known the union of sexes, and yet he is stiff with essence.
He cries all day yet never gets hoarse.
This is perfect harmony.
To recognize this harmony is to know the eternal.
To recognize the eternal is to know enlightenment.
To be greedy and indulgent will bring upon scourge.
Heart strengthen breath and makes it strong,
When it becomes strong; it leads to aging,
It is not the way of Tao, but whatever is contrary to Tao will end early.
(Translation with the references listed on the bottom of the post.)

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The photo of Skyler Lin

As people often say, “Heaven has three precious things – the sun, moon, and stars. Earth has three treasures- water, fire, and wind. People have three treasures – essence, qi, and mind.

Lao Tzu explained the three treasures of people in detail through the manifestation of virtue (Te) in people. He used the image of a baby who can reach the fullest state of an essence (life force) with his innocence and softness. Again, the baby can get the perfect harmony with his peacefulness, mindless, and emotionless. As we grow older, we tend to lose both essence and qi because we lose our gentleness and innocence.

Furthermore, we use our mind (heart) to lead us to consume our essence and qi, forcing us to look strong outwardly but in reality, it drains our life speedily. Lao Tzu told us it is a natural law that everything in the world starts being tender then become a strong, followed by aging after aging is the death.

The way to avoid the norm of everyday people is to cultivate virtue(Te) abundantly and be like a baby to be able to keep the full state of the essence and maintain the perfect harmony in us.


Tao Te Ching Translated by Lin Yu Tang,
Tao Te Ching Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.


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