Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching

The author of the Tao-te Ching (Dow deh Jing) is speculated to be name Lao-tzu. He was a slightly older contemporary of Confucius. Lao-tzu’s writings offered a precursor to Taoism. However, the Tao-te Ching focuses mostly on governance.

“The Master leads

by emptying peoples’ minds

and filling their cores,

by weakening their ambition

and toughening their resolve.”

This is such an interesting verse. I think Kim Jong Un follows this advice more closely than any American leader. His ideology Juche, translates roughly into “self-reliance.” Kim 11-Sung developed the ideology as a variant of Marxism-Leninism. Juche was first referenced to inspire the people to fight Japanese dogmatism.  Personally, I think it’s a way for dictatorial leaders to keep their power while their people live in squalor.

“When they think that they know the answers,

people are difficult to guide.

When they know that they don’t know,

people can find their own way.


“If you want to learn how to govern,

avoid being clever or rich.

The simplest pattern is the clearest.

Content with an ordinary life,

you can show all people the way

back to their own true nature.”

This made me think of our recent election. The first verse, I feel, is many peoples’ response to Trump’s being our president-elect. I sincerely do think I have answers, however. I mean, a lot of people say they’re socially liberal and financially conservative. How did we elect a president who is the inverse of those two things?

I actually do see the merit in the second verse. I think people felt ignored or steamrolled by the government, when the numbers suggested things were getting much better. Unemployment happens during every administration. Sometimes you can’t blame a leader for those things though. I think the majority of people don’t realize how good they have it. We will see how bad things can get within the next four years, however.


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