Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 77







The Tao of heaven
Is like drawing a bow

Lower that which is high
Raise that which is low
Reduce that which is excessive
Add to that which is insufficient

The Tao of heaven
Reduces the excessive
And adds to the insufficient

The Tao of people is not so
Reducing the insufficient
In order to offer to the excessive

Who can offer their excess to the world?
Only those who have the Tao

Therefore sages act without conceit
Achieve without claiming credit
They do not wish to display their virtue

(Translated by Derick Lin)

The image is from https://www.boredpanda.com/gravity-stone-balancing-michael-grab/?

Isn’t the law of nature a lot like shooting an arrow with a bow? When the string is pulled high, lower it; when it is low, lift it up; when it is full, relax it; when it is not full, replenish it.

This is similar to natural laws in that the Tao also acts in a balanced way. It tends to reduce whatever is too much, and add to that which is not enough. Thus, everything in the world is constantly moving toward equilibrium.

However, the law of society is not the same, they cut down that which is already lacking and give to that which already has too much.

Who can avoid the rich get richer while the poor get poorer? Who can move the society toward balance? Only a person who has Tao can do that. Therefore, the sage of Tao does something without possessing it, and achieves something without taking credit for it. He is unwilling to boast of his virtue.

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