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Tao Te Ching: Making mistakes, growing, not blaming May 9, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Tao Te Ching.
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The ancient wisdom of Lao-tzu, as expressed in the 81 chapters or verses of the Tao Te Ching, is able to express and make understandable highly complex principles within the confines of just a few words.

The same concepts the Tao Te Ching so concisely elucidates may take up hundreds of words of commentary in contemporary personal growth and self-improvement media.

Consider the power of these 40 words in Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Chapter 79:

Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else
there is no end to the blame.

Therefore the Master
fulfills her* own obligations
and corrects her own mistakes.
She does what she needs to do
and demands nothing of others (1)

* Because the personal pronoun in the Tao is not gender specific, Mitchell alternates between male and female versions of the Master

(1) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, as translated/interpreted by Stephen Mitchell, HarperPerennial, A Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1991

— Dennis Mellersh

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