Tao Te Ching Chapter 9

Chapter 9 speaks to restraint and piety. The wisdom of having just enough and when having achieved greatness bowing out of the spotlight. There is quiet charm in this way. What is this prevailing need we in the West have for more? It has become impossible to fill our needs, once we have attained our desires they pale in comparison to something else, thus the discontent is born again until we reach that plateau, only to seek out the next great thing again and again and again.

I cannot see fault in the wisdom of being content with enough. What is enough is the question. Are you comfortable? Have you cleared your debt? Do you have enough that should you not be able to work you will survive? If so perhaps that is enough. Anything more is desires and not needs.

As for bowing out when reaching greatness; what is the persuasive need we have to lord our possessions and achievements our peers other than our own insecurities crying out for acknowledgment and attention? But what do I know? I write a blog…

As always thanks to taoism.net and to Derek Lin’s Tao Te Ching Annotated and Explained.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.29.54 AMHolding a cup and overfilling it
Cannot be as good as stopping short
Pounding a blade and sharpening it
Cannot be kept for long

Gold and jade fill up the room
No one is able to protect them
Wealth and position bring arrogance
And leave disasters upon oneself

When achievement is completed, fame is attained
Withdraw oneself
This is the Tao of Heaven


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