Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 55

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Draw & Wings. | Harmony, Tao te ching, Lao tzu

He who is filled with Virtue is like a newborn child.
Wasps and serpents will not sting him;
Wild beasts will not pounce upon him;
He will not be attacked by birds of prey.
His bones are soft, his muscles weak,
But his grip is firm.
He has not experienced the union of man and woman, but is whole.
His manhood is strong.
He screams all day without becoming hoarse.
This is perfect harmony.

Knowing harmony is constancy.
Knowing constancy is enlightenment.

It is not wise to rush about.
Controlling the breath causes strain.
If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows.
This is not the way of Tao.
Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long.

(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)


Interpretation by Gabriel Raam:

Why from all images for a person full of virtues he chooses the one of a newborn child?
Because he is talking here about a new birth or a second birth, no less. So to be able to be full of virtue is only by being born again, have a second birth on a higher level. On the ordinary level the person who is not born twice do not possess virtues according to him. That’s why the analogy of the baby.
What does it mean to be born again in the simplest language? To be able to shift the center of gravity from the self we are born with, which constitutes a lower center of gravity – into a higher self which constitutes a higher center of gravity, this is for him to be a newly born baby.
So, the shifting of the center of gravity from low to high (maturing) must be signified but transformation from having no virtues to be full of virtues, this is the way to know that the person has shifted his centers of gravity.
But the importance his attaches to this shift is so great that he claims that a person with a higher center of gravity (be full of virtue) is getting by that immune and protected from ills and dangers that people with a low center of gravity don’t have, the physical dangers he portrays are only analogies and metaphors to human relations dangers, such as: alienation, disgrace of the sensitive, aggression towards the weak and so on. The new born is protected by his high virtues, they act as an immune system.
So much so that if your structure is weak and you are not supported by any couple relationship – this virtues (brought about by shifting the self-center of gravity) will not only bring you harmony but even enlightened…
In the last part he is making an fun out of all those who do not choose the way of shifting the center of gravity and filling it with virtue; all those who are into all kind of exorcises & experiments who are supposed to make the life better or more spiritual: berating exorcises, Yoga, meditations etc. and all king of practices which require effort, this are not the way of the Tao, shifting the self-center of gravity into a domain with high virtue – is the way of the Tao.
Having high virtues should never be confused with being born just a good hearted person. It is not the same, it is like the deference between the nice drawings of a 5 years old and Rembrandt. It is easy to confuse a good hearted person with a high virtue one, it might resemble each other, but although both are metals, one is led the other is gold.
And how do we know that the shifting from a lower self into a higher one (new birth) has actually happened – by seeing and witnessing the high virtues that this person has. This is the best evidence. People with real high virtues are not born like that– they must develop to the level when they are full of virtue, it does not come without self (center of gravity) transformation. People are not born with high virtues.
The most remarkable and typical story about the power and effectiveness of having a high virtue is the great compassion פרידריך ניטשה felt when he collapsed In front of a beaten horse in Saint Marko square in Italy. So high was his virtue.

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