Tag Archives: Daodejing

Daodejing Chapter 6: the mysterious female

「谷神不死,是謂玄牝;玄牝之門,是謂天地根;綿綿若存,用之不勤。」
The spirit of the valley never dies;
It is called the mysterious female.
The gateway of the mysterious female,
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth.
Like a fine slender thread,
It appears to go on forever;
No matter how much it’s used,
It’s never exhausted.
Continue reading Daodejing Chapter 6: the mysterious female

Effortless action

子曰:「無為而治者,其舜也與!夫何為哉?恭己正南面而已矣。」
Confucius said: “If there was a ruler who achieved order through effortless action it was Shun, wasn’t it?” How did he do it? He composed himself with reverence and sat facing south. That was all.

Effortless action (無為/wúwéi) is a term much more closely identified with Daoist teaching than Confucius, which is hardly surprising given that this is the only time it appears in the Analects. Continue reading Effortless action

Die happy

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子曰:「朝聞道,夕死可矣!」
Confucius said: “Know the Way in the morning; die without regret in the evening.”

子曰:「士志於道,而恥惡衣惡食者,未足與議也!」
Confucius said: “A scholar-official who sets his heart on the Way but is ashamed of his threadbare clothes and coarse food is not worth listening to.”

The concept of the Way (道/dào) predates Confucius and Laozi by thousands of years. Even though they had different approaches to following and implementing the Way, they both began from the same starting points and shared the same set of core values. Continue reading Die happy

Daodejing quotes on trust

In the Daodejing, trusting others and being trustworthy are seen as essential qualities for a leader. Here is a collection of the most popular quotations on the subject of trust from the text.

言善信
In speaking, it is good faith that counts;

Daodejing
Chapter 8

信不足焉,有不信焉。悠兮其貴言。
Leaders who don’t trust their people enough won’t be trusted in return.
Wise ones choose their words carefully.

Daodejing
Chapter 17